Disney CEO: It would be ‘difficult’ to film in Georgia if abortion law takes effect
Disney CEO Bob Iger is weighing whether to pull the plug on filming in Georgia — saying it would be “very difficult” to continue doing so — should the state’s new abortion law go into effect next year.
“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,” Iger explained in an interview with Reuters. “Right now we are watching it very carefully.”
The Walt Disney Co. head discussed the possible pull-out on Wednesday while promoting the new “Star Wars” expansion at Disneyland, known as “Galaxy’s Edge.”
His comments come just weeks after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed and approved one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — banning doctors from carrying out the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s about six weeks into a pregnancy.
“I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” Iger said. “I rather doubt we will.”
Disney has filmed some of its biggest hits in Georgia over the past few years, including “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Shooting the blockbusters required loads of extras and led to the creation of countless production jobs — which provided tons of work for locals.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, over 90,000 residents currently work in the film and television industry. There were more than 450 productions in 2018, alone.
Netflix and Amazon have also been contemplating a full boycott, with the latter already moving two projects — “The Power” with Kristen Wiig and the Lionsgate film “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar — to other locations. Netflix says it will “rethink” the film and TV deals they have in Georgia, but won’t suspend production until the abortion law actually goes into effect.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest producers — including David Simon, Christine Vachon and Mark Duplass — have said that they plan to stay far away from the Peach State. A number of actors have, as well.
“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional,” read a letter sent by numerous movie stars to Georgia leaders.
The group included Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Don Cheadle, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Gabrielle Union, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, David Cross, Mia Farrow and Colin Hanks, among many others.
“As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office. This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”
The abortion law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, so long as it makes it through court challenges that are expected to come in the next few months.
Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday predicted that the Supreme Court would eventually have to take up a similar abortion law in Indiana.
At least eight states have passed anti-abortion legislation this year in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. The 1973 case established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy as an expression of her fundamental “right of privacy.”
In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of states having a legitimate interest in disposing of fetal remains and declared that the provision would not hinder a woman’s right to an abortion.
“Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s,” Thomas said.
“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement,” the judge added. “Technological advances have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics, such as a particular sex or disability.”
His comments came following a high court decision to uphold the Indiana law.
“We cannot avoid [these issues] forever,” Thomas said. “Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is duty bound to address its scope.”
With Post wires
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