Could Religious Freedom Bill Destroy Georgia's Film Industry?

Georgia Capital

Gold dome of Georgia Capitol in Atlanta

Georgia’s Religious Freedom Bill could seriously damage Georgia’s film industry

#BoycottGeorgia is still a viral topic around Georgia’s film industry following the 2018 Gubernatorial election win for Republican Brian Kemp. Now, billions of dollars are at stake in what is shaping to be a Hollywood backlash against the state of Georgia.

Georgia’s film and TV industry employ more than 92,000 people in Georgia, pumping nearly $10 billion every year. Now some Hollywood activists are threatening a boycott, upset about Brian Kemp’s victory in the governor race.

While there are many issues and reasons as to why Hollywood influencers are calling for producers not to film in the state, one of the most contentious issues is the Religious Freedom bill, which critics believe gives a legal right to discriminate others.

Over two years ago, Governor Nathan Deal said no to a Religious Freedom bill, which was good news for the state of Georgia s many film companies including Disney, Warner Bros, and Netflix threatened to boycott the state.

Supporters of the bill say it protects faith-based organizations such as adoption agencies from losing state funding if they refuse to service same-sex couples.

A spokesperson says the governor-elect fully supports the film tax credit and would sign a Religious Freedom bill that mirrors the federal statute, which protects people of faith and does not discriminate, according to CBS 46.

"If people feel that's being attacked they will pull out. They won't stand for it.

Hollywood is known to set strong boundaries in that regard," said Rowan Bousaid, co-owner Frat Pack productions told CBS 46.

"Dry cleaners restaurants, hotels who would immediately have less business if this industry wasn't here," said Daryn Kahn, also a co-owner Frat Pack productions. "Just to have the threat of our governor having the infinity gauntlet that like a snap of the fingers could half the industry overnight, that's scary."

That said, it is important to note, even Hollywood A-listers called out the state of Georgia for the Religious Freedom Bill. Here's a list of the 34 actors who publicly condemned the bill and promised to boycott Georgia's film industry. Here is the full list of signatories:
  1. Ali Adler, Writer and Producer
  2. Greg Berlanti, Writer and Producer
  3. Matt Bomer, Actor & Simon Halls, Publicist
  4. Dustin Lance Black, Screenwriter and Filmmaker
  5. Bradley Bredeweg, Executive Producer and Showrunner
  6. Kristin Chenoweth, Actress and Singer
  7. Diablo Cody, Writer, Producer and Director
  8. Bruce Cohen, Producer
  9. Lee Daniels, Producer and Director
  10. Dana Fox, Writer and Producer
  11. John Goldwyn, Producer
  12. James Gunn, Writer and Director
  13. Anne Hathaway, Actress
  14. Alan Hergott, Entertainment Attorney
  15. Nina Jacobson, Producer
  16. Dan Jinks, Producer
  17. Kathy Kennedy, Producer
  18. Zoe Kravitz, Actress
  19. Bryan Lourd, Talent Agent
  20. Seth MacFarlane, Producer and Filmmaker
  21. Laurence Mark, Producer
  22. Frank Marshall, Producer and Director
  23. Neil Meron, Producer
  24. Julianne Moore, Actress
  25. Ryan Murphy, Producer
  26. Peter Paige, Executive Producer and Showrunner
  27. Rob Reiner, Actor, Director and Producer
  28. Sarah Schechter, Producer
  29. Adam Shankman, Director and Producer
  30. Aaron Sorkin, Screenwriter and Producer
  31. Marisa Tomei, Actress
  32. Gus Van Sant, Producer and Director
  33. Harvey Weinstein, Producer and Film Studio Executive
  34. Craig Zadan, Producer and Director
In a statement to CBS 46, a spokesperson for Brian Kemp said the following, "Governor-elect Kemp has been crystal clear for the past two years. He fully supports the film tax credit and would sign a religious freedom bill that mirrors federal statute, which protects people of faith and does not discriminate." Related: