Disney and Marvel are trailblazing in Georgia by taking a pretty huge stand against anti-gay legislature. They’re threatening to boycott the state should a proposed religious liberty bill be signed into law. Variety states:
“Marvel Studios and its parent company, Disney, are threatening to pack up their superheroes and go home if Georgia governor Nathan Deal signs the pending religious-liberty bill into law. The bill, introduced by Senator Josh McKoon and passed by legislators last week, would protect religious officials from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies and would allow faith-based organizations to deny services or employment to those who violate their ‘sincerely held religious belief.’ This anti-gay legislation has inspired Disney and Marvel to hit Deal and Georgia where it hurts: right in the wallet.”
So just what interest do entertainment companies have in the Peach State anyway? The state offers some pretty attractive tax incentives in exchange for filming there, thus creating thousands of jobs and hospitality revenue as well as subsequent publicity for the state. Marvel took advantage of similar incentives offered by the state of New Mexico when it filmed some of its Phase One features there such as Thor and The Avengers. Phase Two and Three movies, such as Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have filmed in Georgia.
The bold move has now inspired AMC, who films its extremely popular series The Walking Dead in Georgia as well, to follow suit. As a result, it’s likely other high profile companies may continue the trend.
It should be noted, though, that Governor Deal has rejected a similar bill in the past and is likely to veto this one as well. However it definitely sends a strong message when huge American brands that generate billions of dollars in revenue every year and create brands that are household names are willing to publicly protest discriminatory legislature so decisively.
Images via Marvel (Walt Disney Studios)