Disney threatens to stop filming in Georgia if ‘anti-LGBT’ bill is enacted
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Disney says it will stop doing business in Georgia if the governor signs a bill that critics say discriminates against gays.
The Georgia legislature recently passed a controversial piece of legislation, sending it to Republican Governor Nathan Deal for his signature.
The bill would give religious officials in the state the option to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies and for tax-funded groups to deny services to gay people.
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group, like other critics of the bill have called it “anti-LGBT” and “appalling.”
Now Disney — along with its Marvel Studios — is saying they will halt film and television production in Georgia if the bill is signed into law.
Marvel has filmed the action hero movies “Civil War” and “Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2” at Pinewood Studios outside of Atlanta.
“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a spokesperson for Disney said Wednesday.
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff recently told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that he would also pull his business from the state if the bill is enacted.
The Human Rights Campaign said that the film industry generates $6 billion for Georgia’s economy, and recently called on Hollywood to halt production in the state if the bill is passed.
Georgia offers attractive tax incentives to lure television and movie production to the state. According to a state website, tax credits can cover up to 30% of production expenses.
AMC Networks took a stand against the legislation on Wednesday as well, saying it “believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible” and urged Deal to reject the bill.
AMC’s popular series “The Walking Dead” is filmed in Georgia. The company did not say whether or not it intends to move production elsewhere if the bill passes.
The HRC says other major companies including Apple, Dell, Hilton, Marriott, Microsoft, Paypal, Square, Twitter “and many others” have issued statements that oppose the legislation.
Earlier this week, the NFL said Georgia risked losing a shot at hosting the Super Bowl if the bill becomes law.
Governor Deal’s office did not respond to CNNMoney’s initial request for comment.