Disney, Fox threaten Georgia boycott if anti-gay bill is signed

By : Jamie Hyman
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UPDATE: More film and television studios have signed onto this boycott. They are: Time Warner (HBO, TBS), Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount), The Weinstein Company, 21st Century Fox, Sony Pictures and the NFL, who threatened to pull Georgia from the running to host the Super Bowl in 2019.

A proposed anti-gay bill in Georgia could cost the state lucrative film making dollars.

Georgia is popular for film production because of the state’s generous tax incentives. But The Walt Disney Co. and subsidiary Marvel Studios announced they’ll take their business elsewhere if Gov. Nathan Deal signs The Free Exercise Protection Act, which would allow faith-based organizations and individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples. Deal has to sign or veto the legislation by May 3.

“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 Disney spokesman told Variety on Monday.

Disney/Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” were all shot in Georgia. According to report by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the film and television industry generated an economic impact of more than $6 billion this past fiscal year.

The Human Rights Campaign is praising the boycott:

“We applaud Disney and Marvel for standing up for fairness and equality by sending a strong warning to Governor Deal. It’s appalling that anti-LGBT activists in Georgia are trying to pass legislation creating an explicit right to discriminate against LGBT Americans. We urge other studios, major corporations, and fair-minded Georgians to continue speaking out and urging Gov. Deal to veto this heinous piece of legislation sitting on his desk,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a statement.

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