Hollywood Producer Seeks to Raise Funds to Battle Anti-Abortion Laws
Until last week, there was near total silence from companies like Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia. Then Mr. Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix, said that his company would “rethink our entire investment in Georgia” if the law went into effect. Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said in an interview with Reuters the next day that it would be “very difficult” to continue to make movies in Georgia if the law became a reality.
WarnerMedia said in a statement on Thursday, “We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions.”
Mr. Chernin and his company’s movie chief, Jenno Topping, were outspoken from the outset, saying in a statement in mid-May that Georgia had “declared war on the rights and freedom of its women.”
Chernin Entertainment, which has produced films like “The Greatest Showman,” “Hidden Figures” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” has two major projects set for production in Georgia. One is a trilogy of films based on the “Fear Street” novels by R.L. Stein. The other is a television drama called “P-Valley” that is headed to Starz. In his fund-raising email, Mr. Chernin elaborated on his decision, announced on May 15, to continue with those plans rather than look for other shooting locales.
“Firing workers, most of whom oppose this legislation, does not seem like a just response,” Mr. Chernin wrote, adding, “Taking action against only Georgia felt like a highly narrow and targeted response to a national battle. Abandoning and isolating parts of the country that we don’t agree with strikes me as a dangerous response.”
Other Hollywood figures, including Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, have said they will keep production going in Georgia while donating to organizations like the A.C.L.U. and Fair Fight Georgia. Fair Fight Georgia is led by Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who became a national liberal icon after nearly defeating Gov. Brian Kemp in the most recent election.
Mr. Romero, the A.C.L.U.’s executive director, did not respond to a query.
Andrea Young, executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Georgia, said her organization planned to file a challenge in federal court before the end of summer, and that the complexity of the legislation accounted for the delay.