The Los Angeles Times reports that Georgia is “one of the fastest growing production hubs in the country.”
That may soon change if an antigay bill called The Free Exercise Protection Act is signed into law. In a statement, Disney and Marvel have threatened to pull their production work out of the state should the bill ultimately get signed.
It’s on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal as we speak, and he must either sign it or veto by May 3.
If passed, the bill would offer “protections” to any faith-based business that feels providing services to same-sex couples would violate their ardent religious faith.
Of course, opponents think the legislation exists merely to reinforce prejudice and hatred under the pretense of religious “faith.”
A spokesman for Disney issued the following blunt statement:
“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.”
What makes Georgia such an appealing site for television and production work — “Ant-Man, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” and “Ant-Man” were all filmed there — are its significant tax incentives. These allow film companies to better wrangle salaries for actors and crew, cutting down on costs all around.
Georgia has been eagerly courting Hollywood studios to do more work in the state; a campaign that could severely stall if the Free Exercise Product Act becomes a reality. Financially, that’s a disaster for The Peach State: $1.7 billion was spent on productions in Georgia in 2015 alone; 247 movie and television projects in all.
The department that helps champion Georgia as an enticing filming destination refused to talk to The Los Angeles Times for their story.
Right now, no other production houses have voiced concern over the bill like Marvel and Disney has, but their stance could easily begin a snowball effect.