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Conservatives have their nickers in a mighty twist over Netflix’s recent announcement that it may cease production in Georgia if the state’s anti-choice law goes into effect.
The company, which made the announcement on May 28 in Variety, is following the lead of prominent members of the industry who have vowed to move productions elsewhere in the wake of Georgia passing a controversial “heartbeat bill.”
The law bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks of pregnancy, a time when many women do not realize that they are even pregnant.
The company is the first major Hollywood studio to weigh in on the legislation, though this isn’t its first foray into using its clout to protest laws in Georgia. In 2016, Netflix joined other studios that threatened to boycott the state over an anti-LGBT bill. The bill was later vetoed by then-Governor Nathan Deal.
In a statement to Variety, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law.
“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.”
Conservatives were not having it. Pearl-clutching and fist-waving ensued across social media MAGA country.
Ugh! I hate killing babies but I do love watching old episodes of The Office that I’ve already seen like 10 times. What a tough decision. https://t.co/rX342u4XkV— Terry Schilling (@pizzapolitico) May 28, 2019
Lots of stories explaining why Netflix, actors would flee Georgia over conservative laws. Wouldnt balanced journalism note that same industry got there by fleeing Cali’s liberal laws?— Brad Todd (@BradOnMessage) May 29, 2019
FWIW, Netflix actually moved so many operations to Georgia because it’s essentially being paid to.
Last year, the state stroked $800 million worth of checks to the film industry, also known as corporate welfare. Hard to think of anything more liberal than entitlement spending. Perhaps a more accurate statement is that Netflix fled conservative Cali for liberal Georgia?
Someone should maybe tell Marc Thiessen to check his numbers, which we realize is kind of a big ask of a Fox News contributor. Thiessen may believe that “nearly half the country is pro-life,” but Quinnipiac and CBS News polls have both recently placed support for Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion, at roughly two-thirds. Last we checked, half < two-thirds.
But whipped into a nice, angry lather by the talking heads that inform their every thought, conservatives rushed to proclaim the streaming service “Dead to Me.”
“Holy cuss if they did a blackout on Georgia…. when are some conservative thinking tech billionaires gonna create FREE-thinking and non-political companies to compete?” one wailed.
Another self-described Georgian was more cheerful about the turn of events. “Good Stay the HELL OUT OF OUR STATE !! Also cancelled Netflix nothing but CRAP on!!” she tweeted. Apparently, this Georgia peach hasn’t heard about the upcoming Netflix film I Am Mother, which we’re assuming is the biography of Second Lady Karen “Mother” Pence.
Liberals were highly entertained by the conservative’s vows to cancel their subscription to the service that fills their days, nights and afternoons with endless episodes of likely MAGA-crowd faves like Queer Eye (also filmed in Georgia), Magic Mike, Berlin, I Love You and, of course, Satan.
Looking forward to watching conservatives joining Netflix and then burning their laptops in protest...— Stu Mac (@timetravelStu) May 29, 2019
I bet every conservative media personality says some variation of “Netflix sucks anyway” and/or “They gave Obama a show and so we know they’re evil” and/or “Netflix isn’t even that big.” https://t.co/rMIGK0DQnn— Josh (@MrJoshLister) May 28, 2019
Those who aren’t canceling Netflix will probably want to mark their calendars for the release of The Edge of Democracy, “a cautionary tale for these times of [Brazilian] democracy in crisis,” as described on Rotten Tomatoes.
Might want to take some notes on that one.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.