Pro-life leaders denounce Netflix’s threat to boycott Georgia over pro-life law
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May 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Netflix has become the latest, and arguably the biggest, entertainment name threatening to boycott Georgia over its recently-enacted heartbeat law, provoking several pro-lifers to threaten their own boycott of the streaming service.
House Bill 481 forbids abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.” If allowed to take effect, it will ban abortions in all other cases as early as six weeks into a pregnancy starting in January 2020. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law earlier this month, declaring Georgia a “state that values life” and “stand(s) up for those who are unable to speak for themselves."
The film industry generates substantial jobs and revenue for the Peach State, leading dozens of other celebrities to threaten to boycott to punish Georgians for enacting it. A handful of smaller studios have announced they’re refusing to film in Georgia, while prominent creators J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele have said they’ll donate profits from an upcoming project in Georgia to pro-abortion organizations. Director Ron Howard has also threatened to boycott if the law survives a legal challenge.
On Tuesday, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Fox News that if the heartbeat law was to take effect, “we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia,” and in the meantime “will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court.” Numerous pro-life leaders, activists, and commenters have spoken out in response.
“Whatever happened to the tolerant left? Is there no room for people who peacefully and respectfully voice their opposition to the loss of nearly one million innocent lives each year?” Focus on the Family president Jim Daly asked in a statement to LifeSiteNews. “When it comes to Netflix’s threat to boycott our friends in Georgia, the company’s tagline – ‘See What’s Next’ – seems to work both ways. To the company’s executives: Go ahead and turn your back on the good, decent and hardworking people of the Peach State – and we’ll see what’s next for a company that relies on the hard earned income of those of us who believe every life is precious and deserving of protection under law.”
“Quite frankly, I see this as more bluster from business just as we saw in North Carolina — all the companies threatening to pull out. Look, bottom line is they're in it for the money," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said Tuesday on his radio show. “If you still have a subscription to Netflix – I got rid of mine because the content is becoming increasingly objectionable; that's beyond their conduct as a business – contact them."
“I think that Georgians and pro-life advocates canceling their Netflix subscriptions can do Netflix far more harm than Netflix boycotting Georgia,” Iowa pro-family activist Shane Vander Hart wrote. “I don’t care if a company is neutral on an issue I care about, but I do care when they work against me.”
Many pro-lifers, including the Personhood Alliance, Radiance Foundation founder Ryan Bomberger, and American Principles Project government affairs director Jon Schweppe, have taken to Twitter to announce they’re canceling their subscriptions and/or urging others to do the same:
Pro-lifers! Stand up against Netflix’s bullying & stand in support of Georgia.— Personhood Alliance (@Personhood4All) May 29, 2019
Join us by pledging to cancel your Netflix subscription.
If you have already canceled it, or never had one, please get your family and friends to do so.#BoycottNetflix https://t.co/HOjzwwiJlP
Finally dropped @Netflix which said, in response to Georgia's effort to protect innocent human life: "It's why we will work with the @ACLU & others to fight it in court." Buh Bye #Netflix for SO many reasons. https://t.co/bx69hHDWmC #TuesdayMotivation #FakeFeminism #HeartbeatBill pic.twitter.com/GsQfT4lv2X— Ryan Bomberger (@ryanbomberger) May 28, 2019
— jon schweppe (@JonSchweppe) May 28, 2019
“We have gone from citizens boycotting corporations to corporations boycotting the citizenry,” First Things senior editor Matthew Schmitz observed:
We have gone from citizens boycotting corporations to corporations boycotting the citizenryhttps://t.co/AgIQKWQxw2— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) May 28, 2019
LifeSiteNews’ Joe Bissonnette noted that while “corporate boycotting may seem vanishingly insignificant against a behemoth like Netflix,” the “pursuit of market share is so fine-tuned that corporations do pay attention to the butterfly effect;” and that Christians and other pro-family viewers already had abundant reasons to drop the service over amoral and sexualized content.
Most of Hollywood’s biggest studios are holding their fire, at least for the moment. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which represents Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Netflix, has said only that it will “continue to monitor developments.” Comedian Tyler Perry, who has a 330-acre studio in Atlanta, has declined to comment because, according to a Hollywood Reporter source, “he likes to stay way below the radar."
PETITION: Call to "Dump Netflix" over their attack on the pro-life movement. Sign the petition here.
The Washington Post noted that the most recent fiscal year enjoyed $2.7 billion in direct spending on the filming of Hollywood blockbusters such as the Marvel Studios films and popular series such as The Walking Dead. Georgia is particularly lucrative to filmmakers thanks to the substantial tax credits it offers.
State pro-life leaders are remaining defiant. U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia) emphasized that despite Hollywood’s threats, the Peach State has once again been “rated for the sixth year in the row as the best state in the country in which to do business” by the trade publication Site Selection.
“We’re elected to do what’s right – and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do,” Gov. Kemp said. “We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.”
Pro-lifers can cancel their Netflix subscriptions by clicking here.