Georgia bill legalizing discrimination makes an enemy of Marvel and Disney
Hang back a minute, Thanos. A bill in Georgia that would legalize discrimination based on sexual orientation has become the latest villain to run afoul of Iron Man, Captain America, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel Studios and its parent company The Walt Disney Co. have been some of the highest profile tenants (and employers) at the new Pinewood Studios compound outside of Atlanta, using it to shoot Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and the upcoming sequel Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.
But the company is now objecting to a bill that just passed the state legislature and is awaiting either a signature or a veto from Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. Supporters call House Bill 757 a “religious liberty” law, while opponents say it would provide legal cover to those seeking to discriminate against people based on sexuality. The governor has until May 3 to decide what to do.
Disney has vowed to forego the lucrative tax deals that make Georgia so appealing to film and TV production and shift its filmmaking elsewhere unless the state rejects the law.
A Disney spokesperson issued this statement on behalf of the company: “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.”
The Motion Picture Association of America has also spoken out about the bill, according to Variety, and other business leaders in Georgia have also condemned it, saying it could spur the kind of boycott that has hit the state of Indiana over a similar law.