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Other networks like, Viacom as well as AMC Networks, (the network that films The Walking Dead in the state) have also spoke on the bill requesting Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the legislation.
A company spokesman for Disney and Marvel said Wednesday:
“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.”
Marvel has filmed such movies as Ant-Man and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in Atlanta, taking advantage of Georgia’s attractive tax incentives. While Disney’s statement specifically mentioned Marvel, other Disney units like ABC Studios and Disney Studios would also take part in the boycott.
AMC, which produces the hit series The Walking Dead, which is set to begin filming its seventh season in Georgia in May, did not commit itself to joining a boycott, but it has come out against the proposed law, issuing a statement that said, “As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.
On Wednesday afternoon, Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, Spike and MTV, also called on Georgia’s governor to reject the legislation.
A company spokesperson for Viacom stated:
“Viacom is proud to champion diversity and acceptance, which are core values of our company.”
“We have enjoyed doing business in Georgia for many years and we urge Governor Deal to continue to resist and reject the patently discriminatory laws being proposed.”
The Georgia legislature has sent a religious liberty bill to the desk of Gov. Deal, who has until May 3 to decide whether or not to sign it. The bill, officially titled the Free Exercise Protection Act, says no minister can be forced to perform a same-sex marriage and no individual can be force to attend one — provisions, which critics point out, are already guaranteed by the First Amendment. It then goes on to say no faith-based organization “shall be required to provide social, educational or charitable services that violate such faith-based organizations’ sincerely held religious belief” and that such organizations can’t be forced to “hire or retain as an employee any person whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either are not in accord with the faith-based organizations sincerely held religious belief.” And it further says government can’t “substantially burden” a person’s exercise of religion unless it involves “a compelling government interest” — thereby extending its protections to individuals.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the bill “opens the door to discrimination in social services and employment against a wide range of Georgians.” The gay-rights group argues that taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies, homeless shelters and drug counseling centers would be free to discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples.