CNN's Jim Sciutto: Missouri is 'Turning Back the Clock'

May 31st, 2019 5:14 PM

On Friday's CNN Newsroom, co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto invited Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter on to talk about various media companies threatening that they will cease producing content in Georgia, should that state's pro-life bill become law.

Before that however, Harlow led off the segment by adding some national context. She reported on the situation in Missouri where that state refused to renew the state's last remaining abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Before introducing Stelter, Sciutto would opine that, "I mean, this is really turning back the clock, really to pre-1973, when that was the law of the land in a number of places." Since the show aired, a judge has issued a temporary stay, allowing the Planned Parenthood to remain open.


Moving to the situation in Georgia, Sciutto, a former Obama official, cited Netflix and Disney as examples of media companies threatening to leave the state, before introducing Stelter. Stelter added, "Comcast and Viacom, and CNN’s parent company Warner Media, which has a big hub in Georgia," as tech companies also threatening the state.

Sciutto wrapped up his part in the segment by referencing more instances of businesses taking "public stands" citing "a number of major CEOs pulled out of the president's economic policy commission... following Charlottesville. They make these public stands at times. There’s no question."

Here is a transcript for the May 31 show:


CNN Newsroom

10:28 AM ET

POPPY HARLOW: All right. This is really significant. By the end of today, Missouri could be the first state in the country since Roe v. Wade to not have a single clinic performing abortions . The state's Department of Health is refusing to renew the license for the only Planned Parenthood clinic in the state. 

JIM SCIUTTO: I mean, this is really turning back the clock, really to pre-1973, when that was the law of the land in a number of places. It will be quite impactful for people living there. This as states around the country are passing a string of restrictive abortion laws. A bill passed in Georgia recently now has major film and TV studios reconsidering whether to continue production in the state if this law takes effect. An executive with Netflix expressed concern about the future production of shows such as "Stranger Things" and Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, questioned the practicality of shooting films such as "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Endgame" in the state of Georgia unless that law is blocked by the courts. Imagine the economic effect of that. CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joins us now. This is part of a continuing phenomenon, right Brian? You have corporations responding to policy issues with enormous impact. 

BRIAN STELTER: This is not an economic boycott yet, but it could be. Right now, it's an warning from virtually all of the major Hollywood studios. From Netflix and Disney, to Comcast and Viacom, and CNN’s parent company Warner Media, which has a big hub in Georgia. Warner Media says, “We will think about not having any new productions in Georgia if this law goes into effect.” We're hearing that from other companies as well like AMC, which produces "The Walking Dead" in Georgia. They say they will re-evaluate staying in George again if the law goes in effect and that’s the big ‘If’ right now. NBC and other companies are saying we know what's going on here. These laws are designing to stoke a Supreme Court fight and reevaluation of abortion rights. This is going to take months to happen. But what all the media companies are saying is if these laws do take effect, we may pull out of Georgia. That would have serious economic consequences. 

HARLOW: Hey Brian, this reminds me so much of when Salesforce, the biggest tech employer in Indiana, threatened to pull out completely from Indiana when the Vice President was then the governor, Governor Pence…


HARLOW: … of Indiana and I mean, it was part of what changed things there. Because of a law that was viewed as anti-gay. 

STELTER: That's right. Critics of these, media companies say you're just hurting the local workers who want to work in film and television in Georgia. Georgia, for example, is a big hub for Hollywood, it’s called [unintelligible] because of the generous tax breaks and the concern is work will move to other states and local employees will be hurt. The flipside of that is if you're trying to attract A-list Hollywood talent to make movies, they don't want to be in a mostly liberal community in Hollywood, they don't want to go to southern states where abortion is effectively being banned. Those are the two side, that’s the debate 

SCUITTO: You remember what a number of major CEOs pulled out of the president's economic policy commission…


SCUITTO: following Charlottesville. They make these public stands at times. There’s no question

HARLOW: Money talks for sure. 

STELTER: That’s right

HARLOW: We'll see what it does here. Brian Stelter, thank you. 

STELTER: Thank you