Entertainment leaders join businesses threatening boycott over Georgia’s anti-gay bill
Dozens of leaders in the entertainment industry have written to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, threatening a boycott if he signs an anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill into law.
HB 757, previously known as the ‘pastor protection act’ has passed in the House and Senate, and has headed to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk to be signed.
Similar to the widely condemned ‘religious freedom’ bill passed in Indiana last year, HB 757 would even allow hospitals to refuse treatment to LGBT people.
Writing on behalf of the dozens of Producers, Directors, Actors and Writers, the letter states that they would “take our business elsewhere” if HB 757 is signed into law.
The letter comes after Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin on Saturday urged Hollywood to pack up and sotp producing films there, if the bill is signed into law by Deal.
The HRC, which wrote the letter, notes that in the past year, 248 films an TV shows were filmed in and around Atlanta, Georgia, which is known as the “Hollywood of the south”.
The list includes Matt Bomer, Dustin Lance Black, Kristin Chenoweth, Dana Fox, Anne Hathaway, Seth MacFarlane, Ryan Murphy, Harvey Weinstein and many others.
Read the full letter, and all of the names below
Yesterday, Marvel and Disney became the latest companies to threaten a boycott over HB 757.
On Friday the NFL said Georgia could lose out on hosting the Superbowl if the bill passes, and various business leaders have already started moving their companies out of the state.
The CEO of one of the largest tech marketing firms in America, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, also gave the Governor of Georgia an ultimatum– reject the bill or lose out on a 15,000 strong business convention.
HB 757 has been widely condemned, but last month passed unanimously in the House of Representatives 161-0.
Originally described as a measure to protect pastors who refuse to perform same-sex weddings,the bill has now passed in the House again by 104-65, after extra “protections” were added, meaning businesses and employees could discriminate against LGBT people.
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It has been pointed out by human rights groups, that the bill would even allow hospitals to refuse necessary treatment to people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Governor earlier this month suggested he was against signing the bill. Nathan Deal used bible verse to make his point, saying: “We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says that we have to discriminate against anybody.”
Deal used bible verse to make his point, saying: “We do not have a belief, in my way of looking at religion, that says that we have to discriminate against anybody.”
“I think what the New Testament teaches us,” he continued “is that Jesus reached out to those who were considered outcasts.”
Read the letter from the business leaders here:
Dear Governor Deal,
As leaders in the entertainment industry, we have deep concerns about H.B. 757, which would sanction discrimination against LGBT people and others in Georgia.
As you know, Atlanta is often referred to as the Hollywood of the South. During the last fiscal year, at least 248 films and television productions were shot in Georgia, adding at least $1.7 billion in direct spending to the state’s economy. Additionally, the entertainment industry helped to bring more than 100 businesses to Georgia through relocation or expansion in the past fiscal year. Only two states — California and New York — have a larger entertainment industry footprint and both have statewide non-discrimination protections on the books. Unfortunately, Georgia not only lacks such protections, but could soon move from a bad situation to worse with H.B. 757.
We pride ourselves on running inclusive companies, and while we have enjoyed a positive partnership on productions in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere if any legislation sanctioning discrimination is signed into state law.
We urge you to veto H.B. 757 and send a strong message that Georgia will not tolerate discrimination against citizens, employees and visitors to the state.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this urgent issue.”
Ali Adler, Writer and Producer
Greg Berlanti, Writer and Producer
Matt Bomer, Actor & Simon Halls, Publicist
Dustin Lance Black, Screenwriter and Filmmaker
Bradley Bredeweg, Executive Producer and Showrunner
Kristin Chenoweth, Actress and Singer
Diablo Cody, Writer, Producer and Director
Bruce Cohen, Producer
Lee Daniels, Producer and Director
Dana Fox, Writer and Producer
John Goldwyn, Producer
James Gunn, Writer and Director
Anne Hathaway, Actress
Alan Hergott, Entertainment Attorney
Nina Jacobson, Producer
Dan Jinks, Producer
Kathy Kennedy, Producer
Zoe Kravitz, Actress
Bryan Lourd, Talent Agent
Seth MacFarlane, Producer and Filmmaker
Laurence Mark, Producer
Frank Marshall, Producer and Director
Neil Meron, Producer
Julianne Moore, Actress
Ryan Murphy, Producer
Peter Paige, Executive Producer and Showrunner
Rob Reiner, Actor, Director and Producer
Sarah Schechter, Producer
Adam Shankman, Director and Producer
Aaron Sorkin, Screenwriter and Producer
Marisa Tomei, Actress
Gus Van Sant, Producer and Director
Harvey Weinstein, Producer and Film Studio Executive
Craig Zadan, Producer and Director