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More filmmakers build momentum in protest against Georgia's abortion ban

In this image, a crowd of protestors stand outside the the Georgia state capitol building. Many hold signs.
Abortion-rights advocates rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on May 21. Photo: Tami Chappel/AFP/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban, the 4th of its kind in the U.S., has sparked a gradual protest of filmmakers in a state known for its heavy hand in the film industry.

What's new: Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters that it would be "very difficult" to continue filming in Georgia if the ban goes into effect, and he doubts Disney would seek to film in the state. "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. Right now we are watching it very carefully."

Other film industry figures actively boycotting Georgia, or considering a boycott:

  • Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested that the streaming service is considering boycotting Georgia in light of the state's abortion ban. Netflix, the first major Hollywood studio to make a public statement on the issue, is not currently making a concrete promise.
  • Emmy-award-winning director Reed Morano canceled a scouting trip to Georgia in response to the abortion ban. Morano's upcoming Amazon show "The Power" is the first program to pull the plug on filming in Georgia.
  • "Bridesmaids" writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo pulled their upcoming comedy “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” from Georgia this week, citing the bill as a direct cause.
  • "Ozark" star and producer Jason Bateman told the Hollywood Reporter: "If the 'heartbeat bill' makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights."
  • Christine Vachon, CEO of Killer Films and producer of LGBTQ-themed films like "Carol" and "Stonewall," said her production company would "no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location" until the law is overturned.
  • David Simon, creator of "The Wire," said, "I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this."
  • Mark Duplass, prime-time Emmy winner, asked others to join his boycott: "Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?"
  • Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment will continue filming their current Netflix movie "Hillbilly Elegy" in the state, but plan to boycott Georgia "as a production center" in January, when the bill is set to go into effect.

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 has said it plans to sue Georgia over the bill.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on abortion