“We hope Governor Deal will veto bill HB 757 and not allow sanctioned bigotry to become law in Georgia,” company says
The Weinstein Company has threatened to move a planned Georgia shoot for Lee Daniels’ upcoming Richard Pryor biopic out of the state should Gov. Nathan Deal sign into law a controversial bill that LBGT groups have called anti-gay.
“The Weinstein Company will not stand behind sanctioning the discrimination of LGBT people or any American,” the company said in a statement to TheWrap. “We have plans in place to begin filming Lee Daniels‘ new film in Georgia later this year, but will move the production if this unlawful bill is enacted. We hope Governor Deal will veto bill HB 757 and not allow sanctioned bigotry to become law in Georgia.”
The Weinstein Company is the latest high-profile company to condemn the Free Exercise Protection Act, which passed the Georgia legislature last week.
On Wednesday, Disney said that it would cease producing any projects in the Georgia, which offers major tax incentives for filmmakers, should Deal sign the bill into law. The NFL has also said they will not host a Super Bowl in Georgia if the law gets enacted.
Earlier on Thursday, Time Warner condemned the bill, saying it “clearly violates the values and principles of inclusion and the ability of all people to live and work free from discrimination.” Likewise, AMC Networks, which films “The Walking Dead” in Georgia, called on Deal to veto the bill.
The bill is said to be about defending religious freedom, but many fear it would legalize discrimination against the LGBT community.
Last week, the Georgia Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill, which would allow for faith-based organizations to refuse to provide services “that violate such faith-based organizations sincerely held religious belief.”
The bill would strengthen legal protections for opponents of same-sex marriages and allow faith-based organizations in Georgia to refuse services to anyone they find “objectionable.”
The proposed law would also allow faith-based groups to deny “social, educational or charitable services that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.” It would also protect groups that decide not to hire individuals whose religious beliefs conflict with the organization’s.