Hollywood’s top content companies poured out of the woodwork on Thursday, breaking their long-held silence over new new abortion legislation threatening to take hold in Georgia and elsewhere.
“If this highly restrictive legislation goes into effect, we will reevaluate our activity in Georgia. Similar bills – some even more restrictive – have passed in multiple states and have been challenged. This is likely to be a long and complicated fight and we are watching it all very closely,” said a spokesperson for AMC Networks.
That network’s flagship series ‘The Walking Dead” benefits greatly from Georgia’s 30% tax incentive program, and in turn has entirely resuscitated the rural town of Senoia, where it shoots.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal also Thursday joined Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia in issuing statements.
“We fully expect that the heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states will face serious legal challenges and will not go into effect while the process proceeds in court,” said the company in a statement. “If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future.”
A spokesperson for Sony Pictures said the group would monitor the bill’s journey to becoming law and “consider our future production options” pending the outcome.
Viacom, which counts Paramount and MTV in its fold, said “Should the new law ever take effect, we will assess whether we will continue to produce projects in Georgia.”
Georgia’s new abortion law, signed earlier this month by Gov. Brian Kemp (pictured) has become a focal point in particular for Hollywood, as the state is a major site for productions outside of California and New York, with nearly 40 projects currently in production there.
Since Netflix became the first major player to take a stance on the issue, telling Variety exclusively that it would “rethink [its] entire investment in Georgia” if the new law took hold, other studios have begun to step forward with statements of their own.
NBCUniversal’s remarks follow WarnerMedia’s statement earlier Thursday. The parent of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. had said it would “watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions.”
Prior to that on Wednesday, Disney head Bob Iger had said it would be “very difficult” for the company, which owns Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar, to continue to do business in the state should the new law take effect.