Entertainment giant built on audience of children may join Georgia boycott

The irony is rich here. Disney has weighed in on the entertainment business boycott of the State of Georgia over the passage of the fetal heartbeat bill. The CEO of Walt Disney Co., Bob Iger, says it “would be very difficult” for the company to continue filming in Georgia if the new law goes into effect.

Let’s step back and ponder that opinion for a moment. Walt Disney Co. was built around marketing to children. It was at the forefront of the American animation industry. It’s the house Mickey Mouse built, for heaven’s sake. It is not lost on me or anyone else that the current CEO now considers a boycott of the State of Georgia due to a bill that will save the lives of the unborn.

Disney mega money-makers like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame” were filmed in Georgia. Iger seeks cover behind Disney employees who he claims may feel uncomfortable filming in Georgia if the new law goes into effect.

“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,” Iger told Reuters.

The exec added that if the law does come into effect, he didn’t “see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

I realize that in today’s woke world, a huge entertainment conglomerate like Disney struggles to remain in step with the times. The Disney brand has expanded to so much in the retail sales world that pandering to special interests is unavoidable. Perhaps Iger is concerned with women consumers since women manage households and make the majority of purchasing decisions for families. Does he really think, though, that before purchasing movie tickets for a popular new Disney film, for example, that an adult is going to check first to see where it was filmed? I can’t imagine any woman multi-tasking her way through her day denying her children a trip to the movie theatre because the movie was filmed in Georgia. Your mileage may vary.

The Disney of my childhood is not today’s Disney. The company has really stepped up its woke game. “Black Panther” was marketed as the first movie based on a black superhero. The Disney Princess franchise has expanded to ethnic princesses, including Princess Tiana, the first black princess in 2009 and Moana, a Polynesian princess in 2016. That’s all fine. But, to deliberately pander to the pro-abortion crowd is a bridge too far. Iger falls into the same trap as the rest of the elites in Hollywood, trying to score points with only part of its viewing audience. This public declaration is a slap in the face to pro-life women and men.

I have to think that Iger is simply following the lead of Netflix, as the streaming company announced Tuesday that it will “rethink their investment in Georgia.” Netflix also stated it will join in the fight against Georgia’s new law with the ACLU. The company is the first true industry heavyweight to weigh in on the subject. Perhaps Iger doesn’t want another heavy-hitter to get ahead of him.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”

Lesser known production companies have weighed in but Disney and Netflix are the first of the biggies to take a stance. Hollywood actors and directors have made their pro-abortion opinions perfectly clear. Even former child actor and current Hollywood power player Ron Howard said he’ll join in the boycott, though he tempers his pledge by saying he’ll continue plans to film “Hillbilly Elegy” next month. Say it ain’t so, Opie!

Filmmaker Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer have joined the list of Hollywood stars who say they will boycott Georgia after the state’s governor signed the controversial “heartbeat bill” into law.

Howard and Grazer, who run Imagine Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive statement that although they are continuing with their plans to film the movie “Hillbilly Elegy” in Georgia next month, they will boycott the state as a production center if the law goes into effect in January.

“We see Governor Kemp’s bill as a direct attack on women’s rights, and we will be making a donation to the (American Civil Liberties Union) to support their battle against this oppressive legislation,” the statement read.

Yes, even Ron Howard turned into a run-of-the-mill Hollywood elitist years ago. He and his business partner spout the same talking points as the others do. Now we wait for the lawsuits to play out in the court system and see if the Hollywood crowd carries out their threats if the law survives the legal challenges.