Disney threatens to stop filming in Georgia if anti-gay bill becomes law

Outside The Walt Disney Company headquarters in Burbank, Calif. (Disney)

Disney and Marvel Studios are among a growing list of companies that have threatened to take their business elsewhere if Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signs a controversial anti-gay bill into law.

“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a company spokesman said.

Georgia lawmakers passed the Free Exercise Protection Act on March 16. The measure would strengthen legal protections for opponents of same-sex marriages. It would also allow faith-based groups to deny social, educational or charitable services that violate their beliefs.

However, critics say the proposed law promotes discrimination.

Marvel has filmed several movies in the state including “Ant-Man,” the soon-to-be-released “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

Many major studios film in Georgia because of the state’s attractive tax incentives.

AMC Networks, the company behind the hit show “The Walking Dead” which is filmed in Georgia, hasn’t threatened a boycott, but has asked Gov. Deal to veto the legislation.

Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, also called on Gov. Deal to reject the legislation.

Other major media companies have come out in opposition to the bill. As of Thursday, The Weinstein Company, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner were among them.

Even the NFL has said it would have to decide whether to host the Super Bowl in Atlanta if the law is enacted.

Gov. Deal has until May 3 to decide whether or not to sign the bill.

Originally published at www.mynews13.com on March 24, 2016.

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