'We Will Plan to Take Our Business Elsewhere if Any Legislation Sanctioning Discrimination Is Signed Into State Law'
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Georgia is known as the Hollywood of the South. There's incentive for them to keep the moniker.
34 leaders in the entertainment industry – actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, and more – have signed a letter from the Human Rights Campaign urging Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto an anti-gay "religious freedom" bill that sits on his desk. And they're willing to walk away for the sake of equality.
The names on the letter are well-known, like Greg Berlanti, Matt Bomer, Kristin Chenoweth, Lee Daniels, Anne Hathaway, Seth MacFarlane, Julianne Moore, Ryan Murphy, Rob Reiner, Aaron Sorkin, and many more.
"As you know, Atlanta is often referred to as the Hollywood of the South," the letter, dated today, reads. "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 laws on the books. Unfortunately, Georgia not only lacks such a law, but could soon move from a bad situation to worse with H.B. 757."
"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."
They conclude, "we will plan to take our business elsewhere if any legislation sanctioning discrimination is signed into state law."
Here is the full list of signatories:
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
Georgia is quite proud of its status as the "Hollywood of the South," as the Georgia Department of Economic Development shows.