Entertainment Industry Weighs on US State Abortion Bills (Update) | News

After individuals and small businesses said they would boycott Georgia over its controversial abortion bill, entertainment industry giants weighed in on the bill’s passage and similar initiatives in other southern and midwestern states.

Several conglomerates released statements on Thursday (May 30) saying they would monitor the progress of bills signed by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and others, warning they would reconsider their production activities if those bills become law.

WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom, CBS and AMC all made public statements, days after Netflix and Disney went public with their views.

WarnerMedia said, “We operate and produce works in many states and in multiple countries at any given time and while that does not mean we agree with every position taken by any state or country and their leaders, we follow due process. We will monitor the situation closely and if the new law is maintained, we will reconsider Georgia as the home of any new production. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project.

Shortly after, NBCUniversal released a statement, “We expect that proposed heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states will face serious legal challenges and will not come into effect until the process will continue in court. If any of these laws were followed, it would have a significant impact on our decision-making as to where we produce our content in the future.

A Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said, “As the MPAA noted, the outcome of Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat Act’ and similar proposed legislation in other states will be determined by the legal process. We will continue to monitor this process in close consultation with our television filmmakers and showrunners, talent, and other stakeholders as we consider our future production options.

Viacom then released a statement saying, “We are closely monitoring the situation in Georgia and expect the legislation to face significant legal challenges. If the new law goes into effect, we will assess whether we will continue to produce projects in Georgia. »

Both CBS, which pulls MacGyver in Georgia, and AMC, whose The Walking Dead is filming in the state, said it would monitor the bill’s passage through legislative channels and reconsider its production operations in Georgia if the bill becomes law.

The Georgia bill introduced by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp earlier this month would ban abortions as soon as a so-called fetal heart rate is detected. If signed into law on January 1, 2020, the law would place one of the toughest limits on abortion in the United States. Medical experts have weighed in, saying the term ‘fetal heartbeat’ is inaccurate and that at six weeks a tiny embryo does not yet have a functioning heart and beats instead. Such activity can occur around six weeks of pregnancy.

On Wednesday, the state of Louisiana introduced a measure similar to that filed by Georgia, joining others like Alabama and Missouri where the pro-choice lobby is under heavy attack.

On Wednesday, Disney chief Bob Iger hinted that the media giant would withdraw production from the state of Georgia if a bill were to pass, days after Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos expressed the same sentiment and said the streaming titan would fight the bill.

A spokesperson for the Motion Picture Association of America said, “Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families. It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states and has either been imposed by the courts or is currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the court process. We will continue to monitor the situation. »

Helen D. Jessen