The Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest entertainment business, has threatened to stop filming in Georgia should Governor Nathan Deal sign a controversial religious freedom measure now known as “The Free Exercise Protection Act” into law. The state actively courts film and television production businesses, and is one of the fastest growing entertainment hubs in the country.
A spokesman from Disney said, “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.” Recent Disney productions in the state include “Ant-Man,” Captain America: Civil War,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The “Ant-Man” production alone spent over $100 million in the state and employed more than 3500 people.
The film and television industry generated more than $6 billion in economic impact in Georgia in 2015. AMC Networks has also called on Deal to veto the legislation, as is a coalition of 400 companies operating as Georgia Prospers.