“I think it’s fantastic. Good for them. They have the voices, they have the power, and that’s the way you have change happen,” Aniston told Variety at the film premiere at the Regency Village Theater on Monday night.
Netflix was one of the first companies to threaten boycotting film production in Georgia if the controversial legislation passes. On May 7, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill aiming to outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, causing severe backlash in Hollywood. Many TV shows and movies shoot in the state due to high tax incentives, but several companies have vowed to pull their projects in support of women’s reproductive rights.
In May, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, gave an exclusive statement to Variety regarding the bill, saying, “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.” Previously, the streamer shot in the state for “Dumplin,'” which starred Aniston, “Stranger Things,” “The Do-Over,” “Insatiable,” “Ozark” and the upcoming “Holidate.”
Sarandos was also on hand to help introduce “Murder Mystery,” a globe-trotting mystery-comedy starring Aniston and Adam Sandler. Several of their co-stars echoed Netflix’s sentiments at the premiere.
“We need to be supportive of women. Women have the right to decide over their bodies. I’m 100 percent with them, and I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m not an expert on these subjects, but when you’re an actor or public figure, you need to use your voice to speak loud,” said “Murder Mystery” co-star Luis Gerardo Méndez.
Since Netflix joined the call to action, other major companies, like Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, AMC Networks, Viacom, CBS and Showtime, have followed suit and released similar statements. Without time to find a new shooting location for their series “Lovecraft Country,” J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions promised to donate their fees to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia, two organizations opposing the bill. With a similar anti-abortion bill seeking approval in Louisiana, “NCIS: New Orleans” threatened to pull their production out of their namesake state.
“I come from South Africa. We have a constitution that recognizes all human rights and those include women, children, abortion and the right of choice to life. We are shocked sometimes at what we see in the Western world,” said “Black Panther” actor John Kani. “Why are we bothering ourselves with something women have the right to? I’m shocked that in this day and age that there could be a state that is going to bar women from making a choice. It’s not your business, men, so zip up, and look at things that are important in the world. We need more women leaders and presidents and prime ministers and all this nonsense wouldn’t even be discussed.”