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Netflix may reconsider investment in US’ Georgia

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The Netflix company logo at Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. RYAN ANSON/AFP

Netflix may reconsider investment in US’ Georgia

Netflix on Tuesday became the first major studio to say it would reconsider its investment in the US state of Georgia should a controversial abortion law in the state, known as the Hollywood of the South, go into effect.

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

The southeastern state is among several that recently adopted tough abortion legislation that they hope will ultimately lead to a reversal of the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade that made abortion legal nationwide.

Following adoption of the law in Georgia, where a huge number of blockbusters, including Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, as well as TV series such as AMC’s The Walking Dead and Netflix’s Stranger Things and Ozark are shot, there have been mounting calls for Hollywood to snub the state.

Such a move would lead to major economic losses for Georgia which last year reported some 92,000 jobs and an economic impact of more than $9 billion from production.

Several major studios contacted by AFP to comment on the issue have declined comment.

A number of actors, however, have pledged to boycott filming in the state, including Ozark star Jason Bateman, Alec Baldwin and Judd Apatow.

“A woman’s right to make choices about her own body is fundamental to her personal and professional well-being,” said Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of the nonprofit group Women in Film. “We support people who make the choice not to take their production to Georgia or take a job in Georgia because of the draconian anti-choice law.

“To that end, we’ve compiled a list of pro-choice states that offer meaningful tax rebates and production incentives, and encourage everyone to explore these alternatives – California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington,” she added.

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