Disney speaks out against Georgia's 'license to discriminate' bill

The Walt Disney Company has become the first major studio to speak out against Georgia’s anti-LGBT ‘license to discriminate' bill. The company stated that it would move its business out of the state if Governor Nathan Deal signs the bill into law.  

A spokesperson for 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.

"Disney is demonstrating its values and leadership by condemning Georgia's 'license to discriminate’ bill,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Disney is the first studio to speak out, but not the last. Now, Governor Deal needs to demonstrate his leadership by vetoing a law that would harm not only LGBT Georgians, but the growing entertainment industry that supports Georgia's economy."

The stance by Disney also includes Marvel Studios, which shot “Captain America: Civil War” in Atlanta last summer, and is currently also shooting “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

Other networks and studios which have remained silent include Bravo, CW, Hulu, Investigation Discovery, Fox, FX, Lifetime, NBC, Netflix, Oxygen, Paramount Pictures, Starz, TriStar Pictures, USA Network, and Universal Pictures.

According to Deadline:

While the first studio to draw a line on this issue, Disney is obviously far from the only heavyweight that films in Atlanta and other parts of production heavy Georgia. Among the many features and series working in the state, AMC’s blockbuster The Walking Dead and Halt & Catch Fire shoots in Georgia too. In addition, Tyler Perry is opening his new studio complex at the former Fort McPherson Army Base in southwest Atlanta, which he said when completed will be “bigger than Warner Bros.”

House Bill 757 was quickly passed without warning last week. It would allow any person or faith-based organization (including nonprofits, charities, schools, universities, and hospitals) to cite their “religious beliefs” as justification to discriminate against others, including LGBT Georgians.

If Governor Deal signs this bill, it means that any taxpayer-funded faith-based organizations can deny services or employment to anyone who does not share its religious beliefs. An organization could take taxpayer money to perform public services and then deny those services - as well as employment - to a taxpayer if that person doesn't share the organization's religious beliefs. 

Join GLAAD and Disney in telling Governor Deal to veto Georgia’s ‘license to discriminate’ bill. Sign our petition here.