A group of Hollywood insiders is putting pressure on Georgia governor Nathan Deal to veto a bill they say would limit the rights of the state's LGBT community. Studios and networks have taken a "near-unanimous" stance against the bill, which would allow religious figures to refuse to officiate weddings. The MPAA, CBS, NBCUniversal, MGM, The Weinstein Company, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Starz, and Discovery have all spoken out about the bill, along with a group of actors, directors, and studio heads, according to Deadline. Disney, Marvel, and AMC have all announced plans to boycott film production in the state. The NFL may also take Atlanta out of the running to host the Super Bowl, Deadline reports.
The bill in question, HB 757, which would give religious officials the right to refuse to "perform marriage ceremonies, perform rites, or administer sacraments" if it violates their religious beliefs, has already passed in the state Senate and House. The bill would also give individuals the right to refuse to attend any marriage ceremonies that clashed with their religious beliefs. While the bill doesn't explicitly mention gay marriage, its implication would have an effect on the rights of the LGBT community in Georgia.
"Georgia bill HB 757 is in contradiction to the values we hold dear"
"Georgia bill HB 757 is in contradiction to this campaign, to the values we hold dear, and to the type of workplace we guarantee to our employees," Time Warner said in a statement today, Variety reports.
Actors and directors like Aaron Sorkin, Ryan Murphy, Diablo Cody, Lee Daniels, Anne Hathaway, and Julianne Moore sent a letter to Deal, which was released by the Human Rights Campaign today. "We pride ourselves on running inclusive companies, and while we have enjoyed a positive partnership on productions in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere if any legislation sanctioning discrimination is signed into state law," the letter said, according to Variety.
Disney has already started to shoot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 near Fayetteville, GA, and has plans to shoot Avengers: Infinity War there, USA Today reports. Governor Deal has until May 3rd to decide whether or not to sign the bill into law.