Bob Iger: Disney is watching Georgia fall-out “very closely”

Disney has joined Netflix in expressing reservations about shooting in Georgia over the state’s controversial abortion ban.

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company would find it “very difficult” to continue filming in the state if the ban takes effect as planned in January.

“I rather doubt we will,” Iger said in an interview with Reuters ahead of the dedication for a new Star Wars section at Disneyland. “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.”

If the law takes effect, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” he added.

Losing Disney would be a huge blow to Georgia’s thriving production sector. Disney has shot some of its biggest Marvel films in Georgia, including Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. Disney also plans to use Georgia for some Disney+ shows, such as Kristin Bell’s new series Encore.

Disney follows in the footsteps of Netflix, which said this week that it would rethink its entire investment in Georgia if the ban takes effect.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

“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.”

Netflix has productions in the state including Stranger Things, Ozark, Insatiable and upcoming film Holidate.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the abortion bill into law on 7 May, and it is set to come into effect on 1 January. The law would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

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