Fox Business host Lou Dobbs issued a pointed notice to Netflix, Disney and their top executives on Thursday, warning them that any move from Hollywood to boycott Georgia over the state’s recent passage of restrictive abortion legislation would have consequences.
“Most assuredly if [Bob] Iger and [Ted] Sarandos carry out their threats, retaliation from the other side will follow and it will escalate to the disadvantage and destruction of all,” Dobbs said during a monologue on his Fox Business program. “It is time for deeper thinking and not reflexive virtue shaming on the part of CEO’s. That is destructive for everyone’s interest.”
Dobbs accused the studio bosses of “violating their fiduciary duties” and said boycotting Georgia would “harm only innocents who work in their industry” making them “collateral damage.”
Georgia is widely considered the center of filmmaking in the southern states owing to generous tax incentives. That status, however, has been threatened in recent days as studio brass face pressure to disassociate with the state, which recently passed a law criminalizing abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy.
The bills, known as “heartbeat laws,” have been part of a wave of new state legislation aimed at targeting the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Roe vs. Wade.
On Wednesday, Disney boss Bob Iger told Reuters it would be “very difficult” for his company to continue making films in the state if the law came into force. Both “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame” were filmed in Georgia.
The comments from Iger came just a day after Netflix head Ted Sarandos said his company would “rethink our entire investment in Georgia” if the law took effect.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos said in a press statement “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 and Disney are far from alone. MGM, STX Entertainment, Viacom, CBS, Showtime, AMC, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and Sony have all also issued similar statements echoing their concern with the new law.