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Disney & Marvel Will Stop Filming In Georgia If Anti-Gay Bill Passes

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Walt Disney Co. and Marvel have announced their plans to boycott Georgia and shoot elsewhere should the state pass its religious liberty bill.

Disney and Marvel have been taking advantage of Georgia's film incentives for shooting their superhero blockbusters. They shot Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War there, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is currently shooting at Pinewood Studios near Atlanta. However, that could all end if Georgia's 'religious liberty' bill passes, Variety reports.

A Disney spokesperson issued a statement today:

Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.
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Georgia's religious liberty bill would allow religious officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, and would also permit religious organizations to refuse jobs or services to anyone who violates the organization's "sincerely held" religious beliefs, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The bill was passed by state legislators last week and is awaiting a signature from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who so far, has not said whether he plans to sign the bill into law or veto it. He must do one or the other by May 3, according to the L.A. Times.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has stated they're confident that Deal will not sign the bill. As it stands, Georgia offers a 30% credit, which is one of the best deals in the U.S. and has made Georgia the third largest state in film and TV production, behind California and New York. Captain America: Civil War director Anthony Russo previously praised Pinewood Studios in an interview with Fox 11, saying, "It's a really amazing facility, a great crew base now, the whole package is pretty wonderful, and Atlanta's a great city on top of it all. It's fun to be in a place where it's fresh and exciting and they have their arms open for movie-making, that's a wonderful thing."

In addition to numerous films, several TV shows also film in the state, including Vampire Diaries, Halt & Catch Fire and The Walking Dead.

It's not just the film and TV studios that are opposed to the bill, however. Companies including Apple, Intel, PayPal, Salesforce, Yelp and the NFL have also expressed their disapproval, with the NFL stating that Atlanta might not be the home of the next Super Bowl if the bill passes. League spokesperson Brian McCarthy issued a statement, saying:

NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.