May 28, 2019 - Economy & Business

Netflix considers boycotting Georgia over "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban

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Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested that the streaming service is considering boycotting Georgia in light of the state's "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban, the NYT reports.

Why it matters: Netflix isn't making a concrete promise, but it is the first major Hollywood studio to make a public statement as other film industry figures pledge to boycott the state following its restrictive abortion ban.

What they're saying:

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. It’s why we will work with the A.C.L.U. and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll 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.”
— Ted Sarandos in a statement released Monday

The state of play: Florida and South Carolina are considering their own "fetal heartbeat" bills, and Louisiana is close to passing one. West Virginia introduced a "fetal heartbeat" bill earlier this year. The ACLU said it plans to sue Georgia over the bill.

Our thought bubble from Axios' media reporter Sara Fischer: Consumers expect brands to stand up for issues they believe in. But some issues are more contentious to stand up for than others. Abortion, as well as gun control, are 2 issues that brands typically stay away from, as they are more polarizing than issues such as equal pay or climate change. That makes Netflix's move notable.

Go deeper: More filmmakers join slow-moving protest against Georgia's abortion ban

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