Georgia can expect to see a dearth of superheroes should the state’s governor sign a controversial religious liberty bill into law.
Walt Disney (DIS), along with subsidiary Marvel Studios, announced plans on Wednesday to boycott filming future movie projects in the state of Georgia should Governor Nathan Deal sign the bill. Opponents of the bill, which passed Georgia’s state legislature last week after facing significant opposition from a faction of lawmakers, claim it would allow a range of faith-based organizations to openly discriminate against the LGBT community.
In a statement provided to the press, a Disney spokesperson said: “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 is one of many major Hollywood players that takes advantage of the generous tax incentives Georgia offers to film studios looking to film movie and television projects within the state. The company’s Marvel arm recently shot the upcoming Captain America: Civil War in Georgia, and shooting for the much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is currently underway in the state.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported earlier this year that state tax credits helped attract production from more than 120 films over the past seven years, creating nearly 80,000 jobs and about $4 billion in wages for the state.
Earlier this week, the Human Rights Campaign urged Hollywood studios to boycott Georgia if the state allows the controversial bill to become law. In addition to Disney’s statement, the Motion Picture Association of America spoke out against what it called a “discriminatory” bill, with one MPAA official stating that the organization is “confident” Governor Deal will not sign the deal.
Several major corporations have opposed the bill, including Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola (KO) and Home Depot (HD), while the National Football League suggested last week that such a bill could hurt Atlanta’s bid to host an upcoming Super Bowl.
Governor Deal has until May 3 to decide whether or not to sign the bill, which is titled the Free Exercise Protection Act.