A long list of Hollywood types has issued a threatening letter through the Human Rights Campaign pledging not to do business in Georgia if the governor fails to veto a bill that would allow ministers and others to opt out of homosexual marriage ceremonies.
The bill also protects religious institutions from having to participate in marriage ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs.
This has proven to be too much for a slew of Hollywood big-wigs: “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.”
The letter, sent on Human Rights Campaign letterhead, says that, after California and New York, Georgia has the biggest Hollywood footprint of any state. They say in the last fiscal year, 248 movies and TV shows were shot in Georgia.
The letter claims that film and TV production contributed $1.7 billion to the Georgia economy last year “and helped to bring more than 100 businesses to Georgia through relocation or expansion in the past fiscal year.”
Signers of the letter include such Hollywood powerhouses as actress Anne Hathaway, producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall — both frequent collaborators with Steven Spielberg — actress Marisa Tomei, and studio execs Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
The best known production in Georgia is the breakout cable smash The Walking Dead. However none of the executive producers or producers of The Walking Dead signed the letter.
Corporate threats have worked in other states that have tried to protect the religious freedom of individuals who have moral objections to homosexual marriage that was mandated by five members of the Supreme Court last June. The NFL threated to pull the Super Bowl from Arizona and Governor Jan Brewer blinked, as did Governor Mike Pence in a similar situation last year.