Netflix CEO Donated To Missouri GOP Lawmakers Who Backed Abortion Ban

Though the streaming giant came out against Georgia’s abortion law, CEO Reed Hastings contributed to lawmakers who voted for a similar law in Missouri.

Netflix became the first major Hollywood studio to publicly take a stance on Georgia’s new abortion law on Tuesday, declaring that it would reconsider filming its movies and television series in the state if the law goes into effect.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” the streaming giant’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said 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.”

Yet Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings contributed to the campaigns of scores of Republican state lawmakers who recently approved similarly restrictive abortion legislation in Missouri, as first noted by the newsletter Popular Information on Wednesday.

According to a HuffPost analysis of Missouri election contribution filings from 2018, Hastings donated a total of $124,300 to the campaigns of 61 Republican state representatives and senators who voted for the Missouri abortion bill, which bans abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

In addition, Hastings donated $2,600, the maximum individual contribution, to the campaign of Gov. Mike Parson (R), who signed the bill into law last week.

Hastings also donated to 11 Democratic state lawmakers, all of whom voted against the bill, as well as to several Republicans who did not vote for the bill or are no longer in the state legislature.

The contributions to the Missouri Republicans appear somewhat at odds with his political activity on the national level. Like many entertainment and tech CEOs, Hastings has overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates and causes, according to Open Secrets.

In 2018, he contributed $500,000 during the primary election cycle and again during the general election cycle to Senate Majority PAC, which is devoted to helping Democrats take control of the Senate.

His only recent political contribution in Georgia was $50,000 in 2017 to Atlantans for Educational Progress. Hastings has supported a variety of education-related causes, including being a major backer of charter schools in California.

A spokesman for Netflix declined to comment to HuffPost about Hastings’ political donations and whether they are at odds with Netflix’s stance on the Georgia abortion law.

In a statement Thursday, a representative for Hastings said the contributions were related to a bill about charter schools in Missouri.

“Reed’s private support of educational causes is well known and these personal donations stem directly from that,” the statement read. “All of these personal donations from Reed, on both sides of the aisle, were made in support of a specific piece of legislation aimed at improving the availability and quality of charter schools in Missouri.”

This story has been updated with a statement from Hastings’ representative.

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