Georgia has found itself in the midst of a great deal of political controversy due to its anti-abortion bill and now, the divisive bill may be affecting the state’s relationship with Disney, as CEO Bob Iger admitted it would be “difficult” to keep filming there if the law remains in place.
“I rather doubt we will,” Iger told Reuters. “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.”
Bill HB 481, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, is set to take effect on January 1, 2020, and if it does, Iger says he doesn’t “see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”
Over the years, the southern state had become a regular location for Disney blockbusters, including Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther, thanks to its favorable tax credit for film and TV productions. However, since the law was announced, many celebrities have come out and said they would refuse to work in Georgia if the law were to take effect.
Disney is not the only studio to express concern over filming in Georgia due to HB 481, as Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said that the streaming service would likely stop filming in the state if the bill became law.
“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” he told Variety. “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
For now, it does not appear that Georgia has any intention of stopping the law, as Governor Brian Kemp mocked any potential boycotts and called the bill “common sense.”