Disney film studios and its subsidiary Marvel have said they will boycott Georgia if the state governor signs a recently passed “religious liberty” bill into law.
Georgia’s First Amendment Defense Act has been the subject of considerable protest for some time , and was voted through the state legislature on 16 March . With the bill on the desk of the governor, Nathan Deal, Disney has joined other companies stating their opposition to what it describes as “discriminatory practices”.
According to Variety , Disney said: “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.”
Disney’s announcement follows Monday’s statement from the Motion Picture Association of America , which represents the Hollywood studios, saying: “We are confident that Governor Deal will not allow a discriminatory bill to become law in Georgia.”
The bill would allow officials to refuse to conduct same-sex marriages on the grounds of religious belief and permit religious organisations to fire employees on the same grounds. Similar controversies occurred in 2015 , when Arkansas and Indiana passed “religious freedom” bills.
Georgia is particularly vulnerable to direct action by film studios as its tax incentives have helped the state become a popular shooting location for big-budget movies. Pinewood Studios Atlanta recently hosted shoots for Marvel productions Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War , while filming of a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is currently under way there. According to Georgia’s state-affiliated Film and Music website , films as diverse as Sony’s Baby Driver, Dreamworks’ Thank You for Your Service and Universal’s latest Fast and Furious instalment are also shooting in the sate.