Disney’s chief executive has warned Georgia that the company’s film and TV productions are likely to abandon the state if its controversial abortion bill becomes law.
Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the entertainment giant to continue working in the state if the so-called “heartbeat bill”, which outlaws terminations from as early as six weeks, comes into force.
The Walt Disney Company has shot some of its biggest films in the US state, including Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame.
Speaking to Reuters, Iger said: “If it becomes law, it’ll be very difficult.
“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.”
Georgia has been dubbed the “Hollywood of the South” after it lured production companies with favourable tax laws.
The state offers a tax credit that has lured many film and TV productions. The industry is responsible for more than 92,000 jobs in Georgia, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and some 455 productions were shot in Georgia in 2018, according to the state.
However, its proposed abortion laws have caused fury across the industry, with leading stars lining up to condemn the bill.
Netflix has also warned it could pull out of the state.
Georgia’s bill bans abortions in cases where a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks.
It is due to come into effect on January 1 2020, although campaigners have already said they will fight it in the courts.
It came as last night Louisiana on Wednesday also passed a bill banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, becoming the seventh state to do so.
The bans are expected to be blocked in lower courts, but supporters plan to appeal such decisions until they reach the Supreme Court.