The Peach State is making the liberals angry again, this time over its new abortion law.
Walt Disney Company announced this week it is considering boycotting Georgia over the “heartbeat” law, a threat that comes after Netflix spoke out, too.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law earlier this month, but it does not take effect until January 1 and lawsuits will likely be filed to stop it.
This week, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told celebrity news website Variety that the company will work with the ACLU to fight the law in court.
According to the Variety article, Georgia has become a magnet for film production thanks to a generous 30 percent tax rebate established in 2008. Hollywood has since planted “deep roots” in Georgia that produced 92,000 jobs and $9 billion in economic impact last year.
Major films such as “Black Panther” and AMC series “The Walking Dead” are filmed in the state, where Pinewood Atlanta Studios has built 18 soundstages and a 400-acre backlot that served as the location for “Black Panther” and “The Hunger Games.”
According to a Forbes story about the boycott threats, Georgia handed out $800 million in tax credits to movie and TV productions in 2017, and more than $4 billion in tax credits over a decade.
There are now more than 2.3 million square feet of sound stages in the state for film and TV productions, Forbes reported.
Sequel to 2016 bill
A fight between Hollywood and Georgia’s conservative, “red state” politics is nothing new: Disney and Marvel threatened to leave the state in 2016 when the legislature approved a religious freedom law, and then-Gov. Nathan Deal obliged Hollywood and vetoed the measure.
Deal, a Republican, was also under pressure from the NFL, Coca Cola, and Home Depot to veto the measure, recalled Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Danhof, speaking on the “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” radio show, said the threats coming from major corporations should embolden conservatives to speak up and defend issues they care about.
The Variety story predictably describes the vetoed religious freedom bill as an effort to make it “easier to discriminate against gay people,” when religious conservatives familiar with baker Jack Phillips and other Christian business owners view it quiet differently.
Backing down from a fight like that shows weakness, Danhof told the radio program, and liberals witnessed that retreat over the religious freedom bill.
'Absurd' to boycott
Although it appears Georgia’s governor and lawmakers are seemingly on the defensive, the Variety story quoted a “transplant” to Georgia who said she won’t move back to Hollywood over a law that may get struck down in court, and an entertainment attorney called calls for boycotting Georgia an “absurd” threat in a state led by Republicans.
Sarandos, the Netflix spokesman, also told Variety that the company would “rethink” its production plans if the abortion law goes into effect after court challenges, which is not quite a promise to head back west to Hollywood.
According to the Forbes story, meanwhile, one economist told Forbes the film industry is currently getting a better financial deal in The Peach State than its taxpayers.