Georgia, a prime filming location for a plethora of production studios, came under fire after Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation to protect the lives of the unborn in the state once a heartbeat can be detected. In an article on HuffPost, companies such as Netflix, NBC, Disney, Warner, Viacom, AMC, and CBS announced that their future business with the state would either cease or they would have to reconsider their future productions there if the law went into effect in 2020. All the companies about seem to hold a much different standard when it comes to filming abroad.
Take Netflix, for example. Netflix, who said that they would put money into the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, would possibly cease production if the law came into effect in 2020. In an interview with Variety, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, had this to say on the matter:
'...we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court...Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.'
Netflix has no problem, though, with having productions in places like South Korea, where only if the life of the mother is threatened can a woman get an abortion, and China, where human rights abuses are rampant from the forced re-education of the Muslim minority population, to the stifling of any government opposition.
NBC Universal had their spokesperson speak in a Reuter's interview on the new law:
'If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future.'
This doesn’t stop them from filming and producing content in places such as Abu Dhabi, a country where abortion is completely illegal, and Cuba, a country famous for imprisoning political dissidents and having an oppressive communist regime.
Disney CEO Bob Iger described in an interview that if the abortion law were to go into effect filming there would be “very difficult”. One would think Disney would be a company who would want more kids in the country. Disney had no problem, though, filming their live-action version of Aladdin in Jordan, where if a woman tries to obtain an abortion both her and the doctor could face prison time.
Warner Media, another company trying to bully Georgia, didn’t find they wanted to put the same pressure on countries like the United Arab Emirates, where they just opened up a theme park, and only allows abortion when the woman’s life is at physical risk. Even filming in places like Vietnam where the Communist party is constantly caught restricting individual expression.
Viacom has filmed in places like South Korea and Poland, both places that only allow abortion if the life of the mother is at risk. AMC Networks, who owns IFC, has produced content filmed in Northern Ireland, where abortion is outright illegal, and South Korea. CBS, putting out a similar statement like the production studios listed above, had no problem filming in Ireland where abortion had been illegal at the time.