Los Angeles (AFP) – WarnerMedia on Thursday joined a growing number of major studios threatening to pull their productions out of Georgia should a controversial abortion law in the southern US state go into effect.
“We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions,” the company said in a statement sent to AFP.
“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.”
Netflix and Disney have also warned they will reconsider doing business in Georgia should the law be enacted, with Disney chief executive Bob Iger telling Reuters he would find it “very difficult” to continue filming in the state.
Known as the Hollywood of the South or Y’allywood, Georgia is currently hosting filming for WarnerMedia’s “The Conjuring 3,” the third installment to the supernatural horror movie. It is also set to shoot the sequel to “Suicide Squad” there.
On the television side, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ “Lovecraft Country,” a horror HBO television series based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, is set to shoot in the state.
Disney for its part has filmed a number of blockbusters there including “Black Panther” and Avengers: Endgame,” while Netflix has filmed such television hits as “Stranger Things” and “Ozark.”
Should the television and film industry decide to snub Georgia as a filming location, it would be a huge blow to the state which last year reported some 92,000 jobs and an economic impact of more than $9 billion from productions there.
Georgia has become the country’s third-largest production hub thanks to tax credits of up to 30 percent — among the most generous in the world — it offers to movie and TV production companies.
However, the cozy relationship is being tested by the abortion law signed on May 7 by the state’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
Under the “fetal-heartbeat bill” which goes into effect next year, abortion would be banned as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
The law has prompted mounting calls by activists, actors and others in the film industry to boycott the state.
Several other southern states, including Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana, have adopted similar legislation.
These states hope the controversial bills will ultimately lead to a reversal of the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade that made abortion legal nationwide.