Big news from the United States this evening is that Disney & Marvel Studios are threatening to pull the plug on their Georgia filming deal if the state passes a bill that would legalise the discrimination of gay people.
So far, Marvel have had quite a successful relationship with the state of Georgia where it filmed the likes of Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War and they are currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios. Even Star Wars is more than likely set to use this production base at some point and Disney/Marvel have long used the UK arms of the studios for filming. Georgia has become a bit of a Hollywood blockbuster hub given its generous tax incentives on offer to film producers.
But if Georgia passes the proposed “Free Exercise Protection Act” then Disney & Marvel studios will take their business elsewhere. And rightfully so. 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.”
This piece of controversial legislation would allow “faith-based” organisations the legal right to deny services to those who do not hold the same beliefs. It would also allow these organisations to fire an employee who violated their belief system. Oh, and get this, the US Government would have to prove that they have a sincere interest before it would interfere with these “exercises” of religion.
We don’t need to explain to any of you how scary this piece of legislation could be for people in the state of Georgia. Companies could begin firing people on the basis of their sexuality, religion, any other factor that does not agree with that organisations belief system. In Georgia, this would be a steadfastly Christian belief. Potentially, a local supermarket could deny service to an LGBT couple, or a bank could fire their Muslim accountant and nobody could ask any questions whatsoever. All they have to say is that person’s belief violates the one they hold as a company.
Here at Nerd Lowdown, we applaud Disney & Marvel’s stance on the matter and sincerely hope for the people of Georgia that this discriminatory and bigoted bill never comes into fruition.