Georgia is currently clashing with various entertainment corporations over a controversial bill that could be passed. If this religious liberty bill passes, discrimination against the LGBTQ community would become legal in the state of Georgia.
Many entertainment corporations, including Marvel and Disney, are currently fighting to prevent the bill from being passed. Marvel and Disney are completely against the religious liberty bill, awaiting a veto for the bill before they start productions for their latest films. Marvel and Disney currently have offices at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. Atlanta has become a major filming hub within the past few years. Some films that are shot in Atlanta include Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and the upcoming movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Georgia became the 3rd most popular film location in 2014, just behind California and New York. The state reported about $1.7 billion on in-state spending for film and television productions in 2015.
Atlanta’s governor has until May 1st to decide what to do with the provocative bill. Disney remarked that they would shift their filming focus elsewhere if the bill were signed into law. A Disney spokesman issued this statement about the bill: “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 threat to take their business elsewhere could cause some serious economic damages in Georgia.
AMC Network, the channel famous for showcasing The Walking Dead, is currently backing the deal to oppose against the notion. The Walking Dead has been primarily shot in Atlanta and they could film their program elsewhere if the bill gets passed. Ironically, The Walking Dead features fictional gay couple Aaron and Eric Raleigh in their fight against apocalyptic zombies. They were highlighted in the news for their controversial kissing scene on season 5.
Other Hollywood companies, including the Motion Picture of America, have spoken out against the scandalous bill. They were joined by Time Warner Cable, a major corporation that owns multiple networks. Georgia is now clashing with one of the most dominant companies in the world of entertainment.
Hollywood isn’t the only industry that is pushing back against the bill. The NFL backed the notion to veto the bill, claiming that it would affect any chance for Atlanta to host the Super Bowl. Arthur Blank, the current owner of the Atlanta Falcons, believes that the bill would be detrimental for their inclusive principles within their team. Various fortune 500 companies that have offices in Atlanta currently belong to a coalition urging to veto the bill.
The state of Georgia is clashing with the ever-changing world of the entertainment industry. MakeSandcastlesNotWar believes in equal rights and that people should be fully comfortable with who they are. I believe in people coming together to create unique ideas, not create boundaries that would divide us even more. People are still people and it doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, bi, or whatever you choose to be. It is disappointing to see that states are signing preposterous laws to allow such discrimination to occur in the 21st century.
This PR nightmare could cause a lot of economic damages for the state of Georgia. Not only could Georgia lose billions of dollars from the entertainment industry, but they will create a horrid reputation with the LGBTQ community. We are all human beings struggling to make a living and we shouldn’t be judged on who we’re attracted to. Georgia will have to jump on the liberal bandwagon if they want to keep their ties with Marvel and Disney.