Film Studios Threaten to Boycott Georgia If Religious Freedom Bill Passes
Film companies threaten to leave Georgia if the latest religious liberty bill passes.Many film studios are telling Georgia lawmakers that the highly controversial religious freedom will destroy Georgia's booming film industry. According to WSBTV, the religious liberty bill will cause for major Hollywood studios to boycott filming in Georgia, which will take away $4 billion from Georgia's economy and leaving thousands without a job. Supporters of the bill say that they're skeptical of the numbers and that many film studios will continue to film in the Peach State.
But, what is the religious liberty bill?On Friday, the Georgia Senate passed the "First Amendment Defense Act." 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.
“It doesn't matter if you believe in traditional marriage or you believe in nontraditional, you're protected from adverse state action,” says Virginia Galloway, Regional Field Director for Faith and Freedom Coalition.
But movie studios are not too happy with the bill and are threatening to leave Georgia.The AJC recently talked to representatives with the TV and film industry who issued a warning to Georgia representatives. “This very assembly working on this bill has invested billions of taxpayer dollars growing an industry that would leave this state,” said Brian Tolleson, who owns an Atlanta-based digital entertainment company called Bark Bark and works with studios and media companies from New York City to Los Angeles.
“They will boycott coming to shoot anything here,” Tolleson said. “The powers that be in the industry really want to defeat Georgia’s rise as entertainment destination. And we’re handing it to them on a silver platter.” If this bill passes, it will be detrimental to Georgia's film industry. Georgia has recently invested heavily in creating movie and TV studios to support the growing number of productions filming in the state. Shannon Mall in Union City and South Fulton County, Atlanta is currently being demolished to make room for a new movie studio. In addition, the Atlanta City Council signed off on a deal that would allow for Tyler Perry to turn much of Fort McPherson into a movie studio. Tyler Perry wants to use the base to expand the number of studio facilities he currently owns and operates. Currently, Tyler Perry owns over 1000 acre property which features five sound stages, a post-production facility and a 400-seat theater in Southwest Atlanta. Also, a new mega-movie studio has opened in Gwinnett County Georgia that is being called “beautiful” and a “state of the art facility”. In November, Pinewood studios announced they will be doubling the size of their studios, expanding the Georgia Film Industry. The bill is headed over to the House for consideration. If you want to stop this bill from passing and save the film industry in Georgia, then click here to contact your Georgia representative.
“The powers that be in the industry really want to defeat Georgia’s rise as entertainment destination. And we’re handing it to them on a silver platter.”