It was only a matter of time before the fallout from Georgia's "heartbeat bill" began. Following the signing of the state's highly restrictive abortion bill on May 7 — which bans all abortions after six weeks, well before many women even realize that they're pregnant — Hollywood has been vocal in its opposition to the new legislation.
Over the past few years, Atlanta has become a major hub for production for television and movie productions, and it is commonly referred to as the "Hollywood of the South" due to its high production taxes. But if the bill goes into effect on January 1, 2020, many studios are starting to reconsider their presence in the state. While actors, producers, writers, and directors have all voiced their displeasure, studios are now issuing formal statements explaining that they might make the decision to pull out of the state completely.
Productions: The Avengers movies
"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," Bob Iger, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, told Reuters. He said if the bill goes into effect, he doesn't see "how it's practical for us to continue to shoot there."
"We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law," Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, told Variety. It's why we will work with the ACLU 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."
Productions: The Conjuring 3, The Suicide Squad, Lovecraft County, The Outsiders
"We operate and produce work in many states and within several countries at any given time, and while that doesn't mean we agree with every position taken by a state or country and their leaders, we do respect due process," WarnerMedia (which owns HBO) said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We will watch the situation closely, and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project."
"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," NBC said 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."
CBS and Showtime
"We are monitoring the legislative and legal developments in Georgia with the full expectation that the process in the courts will play out for some time. For now, we will continue producing our series based there that have production orders for next season," CBS and Showtime said in a statement to Variety. "If the law takes effect in Georgia or elsewhere, these may not be viable locations for our future production."
"If this highly restrictive legislation goes into effect, we will reevaluate our activity in Georgia," AMC told The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
"We are closely monitoring the situation in Georgia and expect the legislation will be subject to significant legal challenges. Should the new law ever take effect, we will assess whether we will continue to produce projects in Georgia," the company said in a statement.
Productions: Currently not filming in the state
"As the MPAA has noted, the outcome of the Georgia 'Heartbeat Law,' and similar proposed legislation in other states, will be determined through the legal process," Sony said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We will continue to monitor that process in close consultation with our filmmakers and television showrunners, talent and other stakeholders as we consider our future production options."
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)