With legislation sitting on Governor Nathan Deal's desk that would allow Georgia businesses to refuse service to LGBT people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs, film giant Disney has said it will no longer do business in the Southern state if the bill passes.
“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 said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The bill that has reached the Republican governor would allow businesses, nonprofits, and individuals to discriminate against LGBT people and others by citing religious beliefs. The Human Rights Campaign and many others are concerned that HB 757 would allow adoption and foster care agencies, homeless shelters, drug clinics, food pantries, and for-profit businesses to refuse service to LGBT people. HRC president Chad Griffin made a plea for Hollywood to stand up against the bill during a Los Angeles gala fundraiser this weekend.
"You have the influence and the opportunity to not only defeat this bill, but to send a message that there are consequences to passing dangerous and hateful laws like this," Griffin told them on Saturday.
If Disney does end up pulling out of Georgia, it would be a huge blow to the state, which has offered significant tax incentives to Hollywood studios; it's estimated Georgia saw $1.7 billion in film- and TV-related spending last year. Marvel films like X-Men: First Class and Captain America: Civil War were partially made in Georgia.
Other major Georgia-related corporations have spoken out about HB 757 — including Hilton and Dell — but Disney certainly upped the ante by promising to boycott production. The NFL recently insinuated it would not allow Atlanta to host future Super Bowls if HB 757 is passed.