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More major film studios threatening to pull productions from Georgia over pro-life law
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More major film studios threatening to pull productions from Georgia over pro-life law

'We will watch the situation closely'

WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures and AMC are among the growing list of major film studios that have threatened to pull film and television productions from Georgia if the state enacts its recently passed abortion law.

"We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions," WarnerMedia, which encompasses HBO, Turner and Warner Bros., told Agence France-Presse in a statement. "As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law earlier this month a ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected at about six weeks' gestation. The bill is intended to protect the rights of unborn children.

What's the story?

The three studios joined Netflix, Disney, and AMC and several others that have publicly criticized the abortion law that is set to take effect Jan. 1.

Netflix said earlier this week that if Georgia doesn't reconsider the new law, "we'd rethink our entire investment in Georgia."

And Disney claimed many of those it works with would no longer want to work in the state.

"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," Disney CEO Bob Iger said.

Georgia is the third largest film production hub in the U.S. behind Los Angeles and New York.

What did the other studios say?

Following NetFlix and Disney's lead, NBCUniversal said if the law goes into effect it would impact the company's production sites.

"We fully expect that the heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states will face serious legal challenges and will not go into effect while the process proceeds in court," NBCUniversal said in a statement to AFP. "If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future."

Sony also issued its stance on Thursday.

"As the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America ] has noted, the outcome of the Georgia 'Heartbeat Law,' and similar proposed legislation in other states, will be determined through the legal process," a Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We will continue to monitor that process in close consultation with our filmmakers and television showrunners, talent and other stakeholders as we consider our future production options."

What did the governor say?

The governor said in an earlier interview that his decisions aren't based on what people in Hollywood think he should be doing.

"I can't govern because I'm worried about what someone in Hollywood thinks about me," Kemp told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I ran the last two years on these issues, and I got elected with the largest number of votes in the history of the state of Georgia, and I'm doing what I told people I would do … Our business environment's good. We cannot change our values of who we are for money. And we're not going to do that. That's what makes our state great."

On Wednesday the governor toured several Atlanta movie studios as a show of support for the industry.

What else?

The loss of television and film production could affect Georgia's economy.

Last year, Georgia's film production industry reportedly provided about 92,000 jobs, according to AFP.

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