Netflix Faces Pro-Life Boycotts in U.S. and U.K.

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 18: Reed Hastings attends Reed Hastings panel during Netflix 'See What's Next' event at Villa Miani on April 18, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for Netflix)
Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for Netflix

Thousands of people in the UK have signed a petition that calls on streaming giant Netflix to end its plan to fight a democratically passed Georgia law that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally at six or seven weeks of pregnancy.

Right to Life UK launched the petition Sunday at CitizenGo, calling on Netflix users to cancel their subscriptions after the entertainment company said it would be working with the ACLU to fight the pro-life Georgia law and re-evaluating its production in Georgia entirely.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told Variety the company has “many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights … will be severely restricted” by the Georgia law.

Sarandos said Netflix would be working with the left-wing civil rights group to fight the new law.

“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” he added. “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

However, Netflix and fellow film giant Disney – which is also threatening a boycott of Georgia over the pro-life law – have both continued and even stepped up filming in countries, including Egypt and Jordan, in which abortion is entirely illegal or highly restricted.

The petition, which can be found here, states that since Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law, “streaming giant Netflix has committed to taking an active role in funding the legal challenge to this law which protects unborn lives.”

“In other words, everyone who uses Netflix will be indirectly helping to fund a pro-abortion effort to prevent a law that protects unborn from coming into effect,” the petition continues, adding:

If you are concerned about the lives of unborn children, if you respect the right of states in the US to create their own laws, and if you have a subscription to Netflix, please consider cancelling your subscription to their service. A giant company like Netflix should not be interfering in efforts to protects the lives of Georgia’s unborn citizens.

The UK pro-life organization reported the Netflix boycott by pro-life activists “coincides with an expected possible hit to subscriber numbers following an announcement on May 30 that they will be increasing prices.”

Right to Life UK observed:

Netflix’s next stage of growth will come from markets outside the West, such as South America, Africa and the Middle East. Polling shows many of the markets take a strong pro-life stance on abortion, so while the move may appeal to certain ‘woke’ sub-markets in the West, it may also have a big impact on future growth of the service in these new markets.

“I, along with many others, have cancelled my Netflix subscription today,” said Right to Life UK spokesperson Clare McCarthy. “I cannot support a company that I know is actively trying to promote abortion by doing everything it can to ensure the rights of unborn children are not recognised in law.”

Another petition, launched at Redpetition by the National Christian Media Association, emphasizes the cost to media companies that denigrate conservative values when subscribers holding those values reject their services.

“Every time someone signs up and fills out our petition, it automatically calculates your value as a customer, and your loss to media companies every single month,” the petition reads, “calculating that average and posting the total on the front page for Netflix, Disney and others to see.”

“Let’s show the mainstream media, and liberal corporations that our dollars matter,” it continues, with instructions on how to unsubscribe from various streaming services.

Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (HB 481) prohibits abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected. Cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger are exceptions to the law.

Georgia is the third largest production hub in the country, due to its generous tax incentives.

Actress and political activist Alyssa Milano called for a Hollywood boycott of Georgia if Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law. Milano then followed with another call for a sex strike – urging women to engage in abstinence from sex – to protest the end to “reproductive rights.”


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