By Susan Gately - 01 June, 2019
The leader of a pro-life agency in Northern Ireland has called for pro-life parents everywhere to reconsider their support of Disney.
Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life was speaking in the wake of a threat by Disney and Netflix and other production companies to stop producing movies in Georgia, United States, following that state’s passing of an act preventing abortion if a foetal heartbeat can be detected.
“This is a clear form of intimidation from Netflix and Disney,” Ms Smyth said.
“Such scare tactics and intimidation are entirely unacceptable and will not go down well with many pro-life customers who support Georgia’s law.”
Several companies including Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia threatened the withdrawal from the state – which gives generous tax breaks to filmmakers and producers – after Georgia’s Governor, Brian Kemp, signed a bill that would ban abortions if a foetal heartbeat can be detected. This usually occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy.
Reacting to the announcement by the production giants, Ms Smyth said it remained to be seen whether opposing a law that protects human life will be supported by their customers.
“This works both ways. Whilst Disney and Netflix are claiming they will pull their business from Georgia, it is just as likely that customers too will rethink their investment in such companies and will stop subscribing, watching their productions and giving them their hard-earned money.”
Ms Smyth said that in the wake of these announcements there has already been a flurry of social media posts from people saying they’ll stop supporting these companies who are using their power to advocate abortion.
“Precious Life has been inundated on our own social media channels and over email with people of all ages and backgrounds contacting us to tell us they are boycotting these companies with immediate effect,” she said.
She was critical of Disney, in particular. “It’s also incredibly sad and ironic that Disney, a producer of so many films loved by generations of young children, is advocating the destruction of the most defenceless of all – unborn children. Pro-life parents everywhere should seriously reconsider their support of Disney after this.”
Georgia makes billions of dollars from film and television productions, employing an estimated 90,000 people. A number of Disney blockbusters, including Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther, have recently filmed in Georgia.
Currently, WarnerMedia is filming The Conjuring 3, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad sequel is set to film in there as well. In TV, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ show Lovecraft County and the Jason Bateman-produced The Outsider for HBO are in production in Georgia.
The founder of Precious Life said that many people in Georgia were celebrating the passing of the “life-saving and progressive law”.
“Pro-lifers should not be cowed and bullied and deceived through the “shameful scare tactics of powerful organisations like Disney and Netflix, which is clearly the intention here,” Ms Smyth said.