In a recent article over at Vanity Fair, Disney and Marvel sent a stern warning to the state of Georgia – drop your anti-gay discrimination bill or we will pull productions from your state. Marvel filmed “Ant-Man” in Georgia, and reportedly spent over $100 million in the state during production, and AMC famously films “The Walking Dead” there as well. While AMC didn’t specifically say that they would pull productions as well, if they did, it would be a huge hit to the state’s economy.
The bill in contention is HB 757, also known as a “Religious Liberty Restoration Bill” that would allow pastors to deny marrying same-sex couples – a freedom they already have – as well as allowing anyone who has a “sincerely held religious belief” to deny service to whomever they choose based off their religious bias. It would effectively enshrine discrimination in state law and would be used to mainly deny service to LGBT people. Governor Nathan Deal has criticized the law and said he would veto it which would return it to the legislative branch for an override.
A Disney spokesman made this statement earlier today:
"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."
AMC quickly followed up as well:
"As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well."
Governor Deal has until May 3 to veto the bill or allow it to become law.