Is Louisiana’s anti-gay order going to destroy the state’s film industry?
Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal has been criticized this week for signing a “religious freedom” executive order to end same-sex marriages in Louisiana. On 19 May, the Republican executive issued an executive order allowing businesses to turn away LGBTI customers.
Currently, Louisiana is the number one location for all major motion pictures filmed in the United States but, with the new anti-gay legislative measure affect the future of Louisiana’s film industry?
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has already called for a ban on all non-essential travel to Louisiana, following Jindal’s order. However, according to a recent report by The Hollywood Reporter, the producer of ‘Pitch Perfect‘ and ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ thinks that nothing will change at all. Scott Niemeyer, who filmed both movies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, argues that Jindal’s decision is a political move to increase his chances of winning a presidential campaign.
“We’re aware that he is on his last leg,” Niemeyer says. “Although we do appreciate his support [of the film tax incentives] throughout the last 7.5 years, his bigger goal is the presidency it seems. That’s really where his motives lie. I don’t think there’s really any whipsaw effect on the movie industry.”
Niemeyer says that without significant state legislator support, plus taking into account Louisiana’s generous motion picture investor tax credit, it is unlikely much will change in “Hollywood South.”
At the end of the day it seems like Hollywood doesn’t care what kind of laws or rules that are implemented in the state as long as you don’t start touching with tax credits.
“Hollywood likes its money,” says Niemeyer. “It tends to go where its flowing, especially when its subsidizing production or supporting production. It would have to be a much more aggressive move on Jindal’s part to actually get anybody’s attention at a level that would alter production decisions.”
It is pretty ironic that the producer of the ‘Pitch Perfect’ supports the anti-gay order but, also features two LGBTI characters in the movie.