Disney and Marvel Threaten to Boycott Georgia Over Anti-Gay Legislation
In the past, many Marvel movies like Avengers and Age of Ultron filmed in Pinewood Studios in London, but with the opening of Pinewood’s new studio in Atlanta, Georgia (and the generous tax incentives that come along with filming in the state), many Marvel productions like Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 have moved down to the ATL. Marvel has plans to shoot a number of their upcoming productions in Atlanta, including Avengers: Infinity War, but that could change if Georgia signs into law House Bill 757, the “religious liberty” act, that would allow organizations to deny services or fire employees who are gay.
Georgia’s governor Nathan Deal has until May 3 to sign or veto the bill, which has already been passed by the state’s legislature. In an effort to help Gov. Deal come to the right decision, Disney and Marvel have publicly threatened to cancel any and all future productions that were slated to film within the state.
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.
Georgia is currently the third most popular filming destination in the United States behind both California and New York, but all that could change if this act passes into law. In addition to Disney’s statement, the MPAA has also come out strongly against the bill saying, “We are confident that Governor Deal will not allow a discriminatory bill to become law in Georgia.”
UPDATE: Now AMC and The Walking Dead have joined the fray, saying in a statement, “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.”
It’s not just Hollywood that opposes the act. Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook is openly gay, said that their stores will always remain “open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love.” The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose brother is gay, said that Atlanta (home of the Falcons) would not get to host a Super Bowl if House Bill 757 is signed into law.
So far, Gov. Deal has declined to comment on where he stands on the bill with his office stating the he plans to fully vet the proposal in April.