Disney chief: abortion law would make it difficult to keep filming in Georgia
Bob Iger says many Disney employees would not want to work there if law that bans abortion as early as six weeks takes effectDisney has filmed blockbuster movies such as Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame in Georgia. Photograph: Imagine China/REX/ShutterstockThe chief executive of the Walt Disney Company said Georgia’s new strict abortion law would make it “very difficult” for the media company to keep filming in the state.Walt Disney Co chief executive Bob Iger told Reuters on Wednesday that the law would cause many people to not want to work in the state if it were to go in effect.Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp signed the legislation earlier this month. The law bans abortion once cardiac activity can be detected – which can be as early as six weeks, before many women even realize they are pregnant. The law is due to take effect on 1 January, if it survives court challenges.Disney has filmed blockbuster movies such as Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame in the state. It is one of many film and TV production companies lured to the state by tax credits.The industry is now responsible for more than 92,000 jobs in Georgia, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and some 455 productions were shot in Georgia in 2018, according to the state.Asked if Disney would keep filming in Georgia, Iger said it would be “very difficult to do so” if the abortion law is implemented.“I rather doubt we will,” Iger said in an interview ahead of the dedication for a new Star Wars section at Disneyland. “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.”If the law takes effect, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” he added.Georgia is one of eight states to pass anti-abortion legislation this year in an effort to induce the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark case that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.Although some actors and producers have already said they will no longer work in Georgia because of the abortion law, many of the large production companies have remained publicly silent on the abortion law.On Tuesday, streaming service Netflix said it would “rethink” its film and television production investment in Georgia if the law goes into effect.In the meantime, Netflix will continue production there for now and work with groups that are fighting the law in US courts.
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