May 29, 2019
The Walt Disney Co. could join Netflix and other Hollywood actors and production companies who say they would stop working in Georgia should a recently signed anti-abortion law take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Speaking to Reuters, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked if Disney would continue to make movies (Black Panther) and TV shows in the state should statewide legislation outlawing a woman to abort her pregnancy after six weeks become law. Georgia currently bans abortions after 20 weeks.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the legislation on May 8.
“I think many people who work for us will not want to work [in Georgia] and we have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Iger said. “Right now we’re watching it very carefully. I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”
Disney’s possible departure from Georgia could be a major blow to the state’s lucrative film business, which employs thousands and generates billions in annual revenue by offering studios generous tax incentives.
In addition to Panther, Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, among others, filmed in the Peach state.
Disney’s possible pullout of Georgia is reminiscent of a similar ploy when Georgia lawmakers attempted to ban same-sex marriage within the state.
Disney came out against the proposed legislation, claiming it was an affront to personal civil liberty.
“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a spokesperson said at the time.
Then Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal quietly vetoed the legislation.