Georgia's governor, Nathan Deal, has until May 3 to either sign or veto a bill that proposes to allow a faith based organization to refuse property and service to anyone who "violates such faith based organization's sincerely held religious belief" according to CNET.
This is a bill that supporters say defends "religious liberties" but others point out that all it really does is legalize discrimination, particularly toward gay people. And this issue is more than just letting a bakery refuse to make a cake for a gay wedding, this "protection" reportedly extends to hiring practices as well.
Disney and Marvel, who do a lot of business in Georgia have thrown their weight around with this 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.
This is a pretty big deal, 'Captain America:Civil War' was made in Georgia and the latest 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is filming there now. Big budget productions spend a lot of money and they aren't the only ones threatening to find an alternative location. According to Variety, AMC and Viacom are also not so subtly suggesting that Georgia better not sign that into law. AMC said this:
As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible,” a company spokesman said. “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.
And Viacom issued this statement:
Viacom is proud to champion diversity and acceptance, which are core values of our company. We have enjoyed doing business in Georgia for many years and we urge Governor Deal to continue to resist and reject the patently discriminatory laws being proposed.
So many productions potentially leaving the state could mean huge economic losses and a growing film industry would be shattered.