Disney threatens to stop filming in Georgia if ‘anti-LGBT’ bill is enacted

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Georgia legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, but it's unclear if the state's Republican governor Nathan Deal will sign it.

By Jackie Wattles

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.

18 comments

  • FinnyWiggen

    For a group that preaches tolerance, they sure don’t have any, do they…

    No respect, or acceptance of anyone’s beliefs, other than their own.

    It is so odd to see groups like Disney get behind this kind of hate, and religious bigotry!

    • Stewart McDonald

      Jesus didn’t teach tolerance Finnywiggen.
      He told the prostitute to “go and sin no more”.
      Speaking to the money changers at the temple He said “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves”.

    • Daniel Seib

      You expect people to be tolerant of intolerance AND discrimination? Well, that’s the ass-backwards way of thinking for bigots. So that sounds about right.

      • Stewart McDonald

        I expect people to be intolerant of immorality Daniel.

        I expect people to be intolerant of people who have AIDS and knowingly infect others with their disease

        I expect people to be intolerant of people who brand others of homophobes because they know the difference between the birth canal and the anus.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        I don’t accept the charge that I’m intolerant and bigoted to disdain drug addicts, drunk drivers, child molesters, anchovies, and sexual deviants. I just don’t believe that you can find true and lasting love in a men’s public restroom.

  • ALIEN

    Why would homosexuals want to get married by someone who does not agree with their alternate lifestyle? There is nothing hateful or bigoted about having a moral code and following it.

    • Daniel Seib

      No gay person wants a homophobe to officiate their wedding. And no clergy ARE required to officiate a same-sex wedding. That’s why the law is unnecessary. It’s just another way for bigots to celebrate their own hatred and to punish gay people for being gay. Yay Disney and AMC and ALL the other businesses threatening to leave – get the bigots where it counts. I hope Georgia signs the bill into law. And then watch a whole bunch of Georgia bigots become unemployed. Remember Jim Crow and forced segregation? Yeah, Georgia’s always ready with discrimination.

      • Stewart McDonald

        @DANIEL SEIB
        The term “homophobe” was coined by a homosexual who was hiding in the closet at the time. He was afraid someone would find out. Luckily for him one of his “friends” outed him.

  • Stewart McDonald

    Walt Disney would roll over in his grave if he knew the direction that the company he created has gone. There was a day when people still placed value on morality.

  • Stewart McDonald

    People like Daniel Seib like to throw the word “homophobe” around in an effort to make themselves feel better about their deviate behavior. Daniel is correct about one thing however: We like to stay as far away from men with AIDS as humanly possible.

  • Stewart McDonald

    The whole LGBTQQIP2SAA community thing can be so confusing. Lucky is the person who doesn’t have to struggle to figure out where they may fit it.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Your typical homophobe isn’t afraid of homosexuals and is only mildly curious about what AIDS does to them. They just don’t want anything to do with the diseases common to the LGBTQ community.

    • STEWART MCDONALD

      I think you’ve hurt Daniel’s feeling Anotherbob. He must have gone back into the closet to console himself.

Comments are closed.