Abortion: Hollywood’s Georgia boycott
Hollywood’s biggest companies are threatening to boycott Georgia over its “fetal heartbeat” abortion law, said Steven Zeitchik in WashingtonPost.com. Facing pressure from more than 100 stars, among them Ben Stiller, Amy Schumer, and Don Cheadle, Netflix’s chief content officer vowed to “rethink our entire investment in Georgia.” The state, which offers large tax incentives to producers, has been dubbed Y’allywood for the billions in entertainment industry business it attracts; it was the site of 455 TV and film productions last year, including Avengers: Endgame. Disney, WarnerMedia, Sony, CBS, and NBCUniversal also threatened to shun Georgia should its new abortion law take effect. “Many people who work for us will not want to work there,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. With Hollywood’s image “tarnished” by #MeToo revelations, said Tara Lachapelle in Bloomberg.com, this boycott gives the industry a chance to stand up for “the rights and safety” of women.
There’s nothing brave about Hollywood’s performative wokeness, said Stephen Kent in WashingtonExaminer.com. It’s trying to score points with coastal elites without actually sacrificing Georgia’s “exceedingly generous” tax breaks. Netflix, whose Georgia-based shows include Ozark and Stranger Things, was careful to say it will consider withdrawing from the state if the new abortion law takes effect Jan. 1, knowing that the law is likely to get “jammed up” in the courts. Netflix and Disney are foolish to take up positions on “the front lines of the culture wars,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. They have “customers in Macon as well as Manhattan,” and it won’t help business if these companies tell half the country “they’re deplorable.”
Boycotting Georgia may punish liberal allies as well as Republicans, said Zak Cheney-Rice in NYMag.com. A recent poll found that 49 percent of Georgians oppose the new abortion law, with 44 percent in favor. Georgia is one of the blackest states in the country, at 32 percent, and the Deep South is “the cradle of black American culture, politics, and resistance.” Abandoning Georgia and other so-called red states “to the devices of their white leaders is a dubious strategy for change.” Rather than punish the roughly 92,000 Georgians who work in the film industry, Hollywood “should stay and fight.” Studios and actors can donate to local organizations that are mounting legal challenges against the abortion law. Shunning Georgia “will only make it redder.”