After threatening a boycott if Georgia passed a so-called religious freedom bill that opponents said discriminated against lesbians, gays, transgender and other marginalized persons, Disney today praised Governor Nathan Deal for his decision to veto it.
"We applaud Gov. Deal for making the right decision on this piece of legislation and look forward to continuing our film production in Georgia," a Disney representative said in a statement to Polygon.
Disney and other studios, including AMC (whose Walking Dead series is set in Georgia) threatened to cease production on films shooting in Atlanta because of the bill, the Free Exercise Protection Act. Passed by Georgia's state legislature two weeks ago, the legislation would allow religious officials to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies if they felt it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Faith-based organizations were also exempted from hiring or providing services to gay, lesbian or transgender persons on the same grounds.
In partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), various Hollywood A-listers and studios came together to ask Gov. Deal to prevent the bill from moving forward.
"Our message to Gov. Nathan Deal was loud and clear: this deplorable legislation was bad for his constituents, bad for business, and bad for Georgia's future," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.
Last year, almost 250 films and television shows were shot in the state of Georgia, which typically offers major tax incentives to studios. The production led to $1.7 billion in direct spending and saw more than 100 companies relocate to Georgia to support the booming entertainment industry.
Marvel has filmed several movies in Atlanta over the past couple of years, including Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.