Company statement follows Disney’s threat to boycott state over pending legislation
AMC is urging Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to reject a bill currently awaiting his approval that many have deemed to be anti-gay.
“As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
The company, which shoots AMC’s zombie mega-hit “The Walking Dead” in Georgia, did not go so far as to say that it will pull production of the series if Deal signs the bill into law.
AMC’s statement follows Disney’s announcement that it will boycott Georgia as a production site if the bill is signed into law; the studio is currently filming “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” in the state.
The Free Exercise Protection Act, which was overwhelmingly passed by the Georgia Assembly last week, would allow for faith-based organizations to refuse to provide services “that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.”
If Governor Deal signs or does not veto the bill, it will go into effect on May 3.
Disney has shot a number of Marvel films in Atlanta, including the upcoming offerings “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” because of Georgia’s film production tax credits.
However, the company said that will avoid the state for future productions if the legislation is adopted.
“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,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement to TheWrap.
On Monday, the NFL said that it would not host a Super Bowl in Georgia should the bill be passed.
The bill would follow on the heels of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was met with criticism when it was passed into law in Indiana last year. Critics feared that the act would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers based on religious objections.