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The unbelievable reason why people are boycotting Netflix

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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After Netflix took a powerful stance on the Heartbeat Bill by declaring they would no longer work in Georgia if an abortion ban is passed in the state, a petition is calling for a boycott of the streaming platform.

In Georgia, Hollywood film companies and production houses continue to fight the state’s forthcoming abortion ban the only way they can – by withdrawing their funding.

One of those production companies is Netflix, who has based several of its television shows including Stranger Things and Insatiable out of the state. Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Office of Netflix, has said that if Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill passes into law they would take their very lucrative production business elsewhere.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos told Variety. “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.”

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Sarandos’ comments have prompted a wave of similar statements through Hollywood, with executives from Disney and CBS also weighing in on whether or not they would continue to work in a state where abortion was illegal. 

But not everyone agrees with Sarandos’ statements. Anti-abortion groups in the US and the UK have called for a Netflix boycott through a petition demanding that those who believe that Georgia’s abortion ban is not only lawful but necessary. The petition, which was created on Sunday, has garnered more than 7,600 signatures. 

“If you are concerned about the lives of unborn children, if you respect the rights of states in the US to create their own laws, and if you have a subscription to Netflix, please consider cancelling your subscription to their service,” the petition urges. “A giant company like Netflix should not be interfering in efforts to protect the lives of Georgia’s unborn citizens.”

They continued: “In other words, everyone who uses Netflix will be indirectly helping to fund a pro-abortion effort to prevent a law that protects unborn from coming into effect.” 

Protests against the new abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia

For the most part, the boycott is being treated with a very large grain of salt on social media.

“Filed under ‘people who don’t understand how much money Netflix is making by just existing and how little the company would possibly care about whoever would boycott their services in support of restricting women’s rights’ give me a break,” one user wrote on Twitter. 

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“Damn bro what a brave stand I’ll sure they’ll immediately feel it,” another said. “As a longtime resident of GA & Netflix subscriber I might just have to sign up for a second membership,” another added. “I’m a mother, sister, aunt, daughter, cousin & feminist. And I am pro-choice.”

Even if the petition’s desired 10,000 signatories all cancel their Netflix memberships, it’s likely to be a tiny, insignificant drop in the ocean for the streaming service. To put it in perspective, Netflix has 148.8 million subscribers globally, and 60.2 million in the US alone. Some 7,600 boycotting users is small change to Netflix. 

Images: Netflix

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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