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Disney and Marvel to boycott film production in Georgia over 'anti-gay' bill (update)

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Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 currently shooting in Atlanta

Disney and Marvel have confirmed their intention to no longer film projects in Georgia if a pending religious liberty bill becomes law.

In a statement provided to Polygon, a Disney spokesperson said that "Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law."

State legislators in Georgia recently proposed the Free Exercise Protection Act, which many have since referred to as a discriminatory piece of legislation similar to Indiana's Preservation of Religious Freedom Act. If passed, it would grant individuals, businesses, government entities and others the right to discriminate against gay people and other groups.

Disney, and Marvel in particular, has shot several recent, high-profile projects in the state of Georgia. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 recently entered production in Atlanta; Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War were also shot there, among others.

Other members of the film industry have spoken out against the bill, which is currently pending. The Motion Picture Association of America recently called the proposition "discriminatory." Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin also called upon Hollywood to pull all productions out of Georgia, which has emerged as a thriving production hub, if the bill is passed.

"You have the influence and the opportunity to not only defeat this bill, but to send a message that there are consequences to passing dangerous and hateful laws like this," Griffin told those gathered at an HRC event in Los Angeles on Saturday, according to Variety.

We've reached out to the MPAA and HRC for comment on Disney and Marvel's intention to boycott, and will update accordingly.

Update: In a statement to Polygon regarding the Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, MPAA senior vice president of state government affairs Vans Stevenson said, "We are confident that Gov. Deal will not allow a discriminatory bill to become law in Georgia."

Update #2: AMC Networks has joined Disney and the MPAA n calling out the contentious bill, urging Governor Nathan Deal to reject it.

"As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal's leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well," a spokesperson said in a statement.

The cable channel is known for series like The Walking Dead, which primarily films in locations across the state. The show's seventh season is set to enter production in Georgia this May.