A discriminatory bill that caused Disney, AMC, and other businesses to threaten to stop doing business in the state of Georgia will not go into law.
Update 2 (March 28): Governor Deal announced Monday morning that he is vetoing the bill, meaning it won’t become law. “I have examined the protections that this bill proposes to provide to the faith based community and I can find no examples of any of those circumstances occurring in our state,” he said. “I do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia.”
Update 1 (March 23): AMC has told The Los Angeles Times that they don’t support the bill either. However, unlike Disney, they haven’t threatened to pull the production of The Walking Dead out of Georgia.
Last week the Georgia Senate passed a bill that would allow “faith-based organizations the right to hire and fire people who violate their ‘sincerely held religious beliefs,’ as well as the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find ‘objectionable,'” according to The Daily Beast. “The bill would also make it illegal to force an individual to attend a gay wedding.” Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is currently weighing whether or not to sign the bill which has gone through Georgia’s House and Senate, and has grown increasingly discriminatory with each re-write.
On Wednesday, Disney took a stand against the bill and vowed to stop filming their movies in the state if it is signed into law. “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,” they said in a statement.
Georgia has been the home for several major Disney productions including Captain America: Civil War, and currently, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Disney is currently planning on filming The Avengers: Infinity War in Atlanta this September, but that will likely change if this bill passes.
Georgia has become a popular state to film movies in due to generous tax credits offered to the studios. Another major example besides Disney? Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games series, which filmed some of Catching Fire and Mockingjay in the Atlanta area.
Disney is the first major studio to take a stand against this bill, but they aren’t the only company threatening to leave town. Earlier in the week the NFL said that they would reconsider their plans to host a Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2019 or 2020 if the bill passes.
The NFL is precious business for any state. Between the sporting behemoth and the Hollywood behemoth both making strong threats, the pressure on Georgia’s Governor is mounting rapidly.