Netflix threatens to boycott filming in Georgia over controversial anti-abortion law

29 May 2019, 14:09 | Updated: 29 May 2019, 14:25

Netflix on a phone/Stranger Things
Netflix on a phone/Stranger Things. Picture: Getty/Netflix
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

This could mean big changes for 'Stranger Things', 'Queer Eye' and 'Insatiable'.

Netflix have warned that they could stop filming in Georgia if the state passes a controversial anti-abortion law, which has already caused backlash after being implemented in seven states in the US.

Billie Eilish condemns controversial anti-abortion laws

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill on May 7 that would make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. If the bill gets passed, it will come into effect on January 1, 2020.

The anti-abortion laws have caused widespread uproar and after it was recently signed off in Alabama on May 15, it was called out by celebrities like Billie Eilish and Rihanna, who expressed their anger and disappointment over the decision.

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Now Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has declared that he'll team up with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to fight against the bill. If they aren't able to successfully challenge the legal bill, Netflix could boycott filming in Georgia.

"We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law," Sarandos said in a statement to Variety.

"It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we will continue to film there – while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia."

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Other smaller production companies have already pulled out of Georgia, while filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele have pledged to donate their fees to the ACLU.

Without the backing of Netflix and other production companies, Georgia could find themselves with a gaping hole in their economy. It could also change how our favourite TV shows look.

In 2008, Georgia started offering tax incentives to companies that film in the state. Now a lot of huge blockbusters have been filmed there, including The Hunger Games, Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War. Meanwhile Netflix currently film Stranger Things and Ozark in the Southern state, which has been dubbed "Y'allywood".

If Netflix and other production companies were to pull out filming in Georgia, it could mean a loss of $9 billion, but a loss of revenue may be the only way to make them listen and change their archaic views.

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