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Netflix & Disney threaten to boycott Georgia over abortion bill … say nothing about N. Ireland

Netflix & Disney threaten to boycott Georgia over abortion bill … say nothing about N. Ireland
Netflix and Disney are threatening to pull their filming and production operations from Georgia in protest at the US state's new abortion law, however both companies are refusing to comment on the situation in Northern Ireland.

Under the new legislation, women in Georgia will be banned from seeking an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy in a move which sparked ire and protests, most notably from the Hollywood elite.

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The film and television industry provides some 92,000 jobs in the southern state. It's the main filming location for the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and blockbusters such as ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Film and television executives are now caught between the state’s generous tax breaks and mounting pressure from activists and lobbyists over its oppressive abortion laws.

“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,” Disney chief executive Bob Iger said, adding that, should the law come into effect on January 1,

I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.

Meanwhile, Netflix will continue to film in Georgia until the law takes effect, according to chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, but again, “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia,” he said, echoing Iger and Disney’s position.

However, neither Disney nor Netflix have commented on the future of their production plans in Northern Ireland, itself a popular filming hub for the film and TV industry, but with far more draconian abortion laws than Georgia.

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In Northern Ireland, abortion is banned outright from the moment of conception, and is punishable by a theoretical sentence of life imprisonment.

Sophie Turner is one of many Hollywood A-listers who is boycotting Georgia. However the ‘Game of Thrones’ actress is facing accusations of hypocrisy as she worked in the UK region for several years while filming the hit TV show without ever mentioning the restrictions women face there.

“It shouldn’t be one rule for Georgia and one rule for Northern Ireland,” said Emma Campbell, co-chair of the Northern Irish campaign group Alliance for Choice. “There needs to be some consistency.”

Georgia’s abortion law is due to take effect on January 1 if it survives a slew of legal challenges in court.

Media company boycotts have proven effective at lobbying US state governments in the past; in 2016, North Carolina repealed a law restricting transgender bathroom access after a boycott cost the state economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

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