×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HRC President Calls on Showbiz to Shun Georgia if Governor Signs Religious Freedom Bill

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin urged studios and production companies to refuse to commit to any further productions in Georgia if Gov. Nathan Deal does not veto a pending religious liberty bill.

Griffin, speaking at the Los Angeles HRC Gala on Saturday, said that “if this bill is signed into law, your employees, your contractors, all those working on your production are at risk of state-sponsored discrimination. That is wrong, it’s un-American. It’s an affront on all the values Hollywood prides itself on.”

With one of the country’s most generous incentive packages, Georgia has emerged as one of the top production centers in the U.S.

Noting the presence of many figures from entertainment at the HRC event, Griffin said, “You have the influence and the opportunity to not only defeat this bill, but to send a message that there are consequences to passing dangerous and hateful laws like this. And so tonight, we’re asking you to join us as we urge TV and film studios, directors and producers, to commit to locating no further productions in the state of Georgia if this bill becomes law.”

Georgia legislators passed the bill earlier this week. It protects religious officials from having to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, and would allow faith-based organizations to deny services or employment to those who violate their “sincerely held religious belief.”

Several weeks ago, Deal warned that he would reject any bill that he determined was legalized discrimination. But opponents say that the compromise reached this week will still permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.

On Friday, the NFL even warned that it would take such legislation into consideration when evaluating potential host cities for Super Bowl games. A number of corporations including Apple and Salesforce have come out against the bill.

As the bill moved through the legislature this year, it provoked some discussion in Georgia’s movie and TV production community over whether it could lead to companies shunning the state, as is what happened last year when Indiana passed a religious freedom bill. After companies threatened to cease doing business, the legislation was revised.

In addition to drawing a number of TV shows like “Vampire Diaries” and “The Walking Dead,” Georgia has become a production hub for mega-budget tentpole pictures. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” is shooting at Pinewood Studios, and “Captain America: Civil War” shot there last summer.

By some estimates the state has moved into the No. 3 position for production, behind California and New York. According to the state’s Dept. of Economic Development, $1.7 billion was spent on production in fiscal 2015. In 2007, it had been $132.5 million.

Deal, who has been a big booster of the state’s film and TV tax credit, has not said whether he would sign the revised legislation, but told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it would be a “difficult decision.”

More Biz

  • Kodak Black Arrested at Border on

    Kodak Black Arrested at Border on Gun and Drug Charges

    Rapper Kodak Black and three other people were arrested after they allegedly attempted to cross the U.S.-Canada border with guns and marijuana, officials told NBC News on Thursday. The 21-year-old rapper missed concerts at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night after he was stopped at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge near Buffalo hours [...]

  • Portugal. The Man to Perform at

    Portugal. The Man to Perform at ASCAP ‘I Create Music’ Expo

    Portugal. The Man will perform at the 2019 ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, joining a line-up that includes Questlove, Wyclef Jean, Lee Ann Womack, Victoria Monét, “Shallow” co-writer Anthony Rossomando and Matthew Koma among other music creators. The Expo takes place May 2-4 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The group, who were [...]

  • The Nashville, Tenn. downtown area and

    Nashville City Council Sides With Songwriters Against Streamers’ CRB Appeal

    Nashville city leaders have sided against the streaming services Amazon, Spotify, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora in the appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision that would give songwriters a pay raise. The Nashville Metro Council adopted the resolution as part of its consent agenda earlier this week, although the move is “purely symbolic” and the streamers [...]

  • Mueller Report Released: Networks Cut the

    Networks Curb Their Enthusiasm, William Barr Flexes as Mueller Report Goes Public

    The run-up to Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the conduct of President Donald Trump suggested it was just one component part of a busy news day, something close to business as usual. And the broadcast — in which Barr stormily defended the President as [...]

  • Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of

    Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of Global Music

    Paradigm Talent Agency has named Marty Diamond the Head of Global Music, leading the agency’s representation artists worldwide, the company announced today. His personal client roster includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Halsey, Janelle Monáe, Sigur Rós, Sara Bareilles, Liam Gallagher, Sia, Lorde, Alessia Cara, Bastille, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Vance Joy. Diamond will head Paradigm’s [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US

    UCLA, Howard University Partner on Internship Program to Foster Diversity in Hollywood

    Increased focus on college students may be one way to pave a more diverse future in Hollywood. A new program from the UCLA Anderson School for Management’s Summer Institute at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) in partnership with Howard University gives students the opportunity to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content