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CW network president speaks out about heartbeat bill

"We will have discussions with both studios about what to do and what not to do in terms of where Georgia sits," CW President Mark Pedowitz said.

The CW and ABC are the latest production companies following the wait-and-see approach when it comes to Georgia's “heartbeat” law. 

Speaking during the summer Television Critics Association press tour, CW President Mark Pedowitz reportedly gave his personal take on the law, but said the network will follow the lead of its parent companies, WarnerMedia and CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS).

“First, anybody who interferes with people’s right to make medical choices, I am solely against. Secondly, the law is not in effect yet. We are following the path of our parent companies; if the law is passed, I am certain we will have discussions with both studios about what to do and what not to do in terms of where Georgia sits,” Pedowitz said at the TCA press tour, according to Deadline.

In May, WarnerMedia said if the law passes it would “reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions." Similarly, CBS said if the law went into effect Georgia “may not be a viable location for future productions.''

WarnerMedia and CBS's approach is similar to other major production companies — including Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMCX) — that have said publicly they'll consider leaving Georgia if the law goes into effect.

Pedowitz is not the only network president that was asked about the law this week. On Monday, ABC's president of entertainment, Karey Burke, was asked how the network planned to handle the law.

"“It’s an open issue,” Burke said to Forbes. “This law is being challenged right now in the courts. We will just wait to see what’s decided and make a decision.”

While a few studios cancelled productions the Peach State shortly after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, which prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, into law, a majority have stayed put.

Currently, the CW has three productions filming in Georgia — the third seasons of “Black Lightning” and “Dynasty” and the second season of “Legacies,” according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. among its subsidiaries, also has a few productions filming in Georgia. That includes HBO’s “The Outsider” and “Lovecraft Country,” and the Warner Bros. film “The Conjuring 3.”

"Lovecraft Country" producers Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams have said they plan to donate 100% of the show’s proceeds to fight the law. 

Meanwhile, the Clint Eastwood produced movie titled "The Ballad of Richard Jewell" has filmed in Atlanta, and Paramount's “Coming to America” sequel is one of 48 projects in production in the state.

The law, expected to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, is already being challenged in court by The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Georgia, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood.


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