Disney recently took advantage of Georgia's very lucrative tax incentives, shooting the upcoming Captain America: Civil War in the state. But they are now threatening to boycott the location over a new bill that passed in the Georgia legislature. House Bill 757 will permit faith-based groups and organizations in Georgia to discriminate based on sexuality, and Disney has decided that it will no longer bring its big blockbusters there in a stand against this bill, should it pass. Said a Disney representative.
"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 NFL has already said it will also boycott the state, with the MPAA and Human Rights Campaign Fund strongly coming out against the law. Disney is the first Hollywood studio to speak out against Georgia's decision. They have now made it known that they will take their business elsewhere if Governor Nathan Deal signs House Bill 757, which is currently sitting on his desk.
Disney currently has Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in production at Pinewood Studios just outside Atlanta. It is not clear if the bill is signed, whether or not Marvel will pull the sequel out of the state and find another location to shoot. This deep into production, that may be impossible. The Governor's Office has not responded to Disney's potential boycott.
Governor Nathan Deal has until May to sign or decline the Free Exercise Protection Act. Though Disney is the first to take a stand against the bill, they are not the only major studio that utilizes Georgia on a regular basis. AMC's hit show The Walking Dead shoots in Atlanta, with their Halt & Catch Fire also shooting in the state. And Tyler Perry's whole base of operations are housed at the former Fort McPherson Army Base in southwest Atlanta. When completed, it is said to be bigger than Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.
House Bill 757, which is also known as the Free Exercise Protection Act, passed through the state Assembly last week. The new law will allow religious officials the rights to refuse marriage ceremonies of same sex couples, and to deny the hiring or provide serves for those who "violate any such faith-based organization's sincerely held religious belief." Governor Nathan Deal is currently reviewing the bill, and has acknowledged that he has a very tough decision to make.
Along with its tax incentives for Hollywood productions, Georgia is also home to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, which the state hopes to use in housing a future Super Bowl. An NFL spokesperson said last week that won't happen if Bill 757 passes. While Doctor Strange has been shooting at various locations around the globe, and Thor: Ragnarok is set to shoot in Australia, Disney and Marvel will likely shoot some of the two-part Avengers: Infinity War at the Pinewood Studios Georgia location. That won't happen if this bill goes through.