Disney and Marvel threaten to boycott filmmaking in Georgia over anti-gay bill

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal must sign or veto the legislation by May 3

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The Independent US

Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Studios have announced that they will no longer film in Georgia if the state approves a pending anti-gay law.

State legislatures recently passed House Bill 757, which includes a “religious liberty” measure that would allow individuals, businesses and government entities the right to discriminate against gay citizens and other groups. The legislation is currenty on the desk of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who must sign or veto the bill by May 3.

Both Disney and Marvel have used Georgia as a production hub for high-profile projects, and Marvel has recently begun filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at Pinewood Studios, located just outside of Atlanta.

"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,” a Disney spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that tax incentives have attracted major filmmaking studios to Georgia. The film and television industry has brought 120 films to Georgia over the last seven years and is responsible for more than 79,000 jobs and roughly $4 billion in wages in the state.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin applauded the studios shortly after the boycotts went public.

“We applaud Disney and Marvel for standing up for fairness and equality by sending a strong warning to Governor Deal,” Griffin said.

“It’s appalling that anti-LGBT activists in Georgia are trying to pass legislation creating an explicit right to discriminate against LGBT Americans. We urge other studios, major corporations, and fair-minded Georgians to continue speaking out and urging Gov. Deal to veto this heinous piece of legislation sitting on his desk.”