Various companies, including Disney and Marvel, are looking to take a stand against Georgia’s proposed bill
Although it is 2016 and gay rights have increased dramatically, it appears there are some places that want to set the country back a few years. Surprisingly, the TV and film industry have fought hard for our basic human rights. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Walt Disney company is threatening to no longer film in the state of Georgia if their proposed anti-gay bill is signed into law.
The bill in question is called the “Free Exercise Protection Act”, and it would offer protections to faith-based entities that refuse to provide services to those that violate their beliefs. The bill was passed by legislators in Georgia last week, and Georgia governor Nathan Deal has until May 3rd to decide whether or not to veto it.
The Walt Disney Company owns the rights to Disney and Marvel. A boycott of the state would result in millions of revenue lost in just advertising alone. In an interview with the LA Times, a spokesperson for the Burbank-based Disney stated:
"“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.”"
While other major film companies are keeping quiet, there is one that has joined Disney’s fight. According to an update on Vanity Fair, AMC Networks have raised their voice in showing displeasure for the potential bill. The network is the home to The Walking Dead, one of the hottest shows on television. For years, the show was based in the Georgia area, and has been great for tourism attractions.
AMC Networks issued a statement of their own on the issue. They stated:
"“As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.”"
This isn’t the first time this has been an issue. Remember county clerk Kim Davis? What about Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law? It appears that there are those who have had enough of moving back and want to move forward. The NFL and Coca-Cola are among the other companies who have been associate with wanting to reject the bill.
In the end, Governor Deal has strong incentives to veto the bill. Not only because of the revenue that will continue to pour through the state of Georgia, but because of the inhumane nature behind the bill. It is great to see companies stand up for what they believe in. If a few big names can make a difference, imagine what a few thousand more voices could do.
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