According to Variety, the Walt Disney Company and their subsidiary, Marvel Studios, have stated that they plan to boycott the state of Georgia if the governor of said state, Nathan Deal, signs a bill in front of him that has been termed a “religious liberty” bill. This bill, also referred to as HB 757, if made law, would protect religious officials from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies and would protect faith-based businesses “against infringement of religious freedom.”
Since Georgia has generous tax incentives for companies that want to make movies in their state, film studios have filmed a great deal of films there recently. Marvel Studios is not an exception to this: they filmed Captain America: Civil War at Georgia-based Pinewood Studios, and are currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at the same location. About the issue, an unnamed Disney spokesman claimed: “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 and Apple have also spoken out against the proposed bill, the former organization threatening to not award the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium a desired Super Bowl if the bill is signed. Other organizations that have spoken out against the proposed bill are the MPAA and the Human Rights Campaign.
Governor Nathan Deal has until May 3rd to sign HB 757 into law. He has three options regarding the bill. First, he could do the nationally unpopular action and solve the bill. Second, he could explicitly say “I will not sign this bill due to x, y, and z” before the bill’s deadline is up, therefore vetoing it. Finally, he could perform a “pocket veto” by simply not signing before the deadline is up.
We will update with any developments in this story as they become available.