*Lee Daniels and several A-list Hollywood players, studios and TV networks were ready to cease work in Georgia if Governor Nathan Deal signed a pending bill that would allow faith-based groups and organizations to discriminate based on sexuality.
Now, there’ s no need to rattle the system because the AJC.com reports that “efforts by some lawmakers to pass a new bill related to the “religious liberty” fight appear to have failed…after language aimed at corporations’ diversity policies got stripped out of the legislation.”
READ RELATED STORY: Lee Daniels Not Afraid of Anything…Except a Trump Presidency
As previously reported, the Human Rights Campaign explained their plans to remove their business from the state should the bill, officially titled the Free Exercise Protection Act, pass:
“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.”
Likewise, Disney and its Marvel subsidiary threatened to stop film production in Georgia if the governor signed the controversial “religious liberty” bill into law.
“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,” a Disney spokesman said in a statement.
Actresses Zoe Kravitz, Anne Hathaway, producers Ryan Murphy, Harvey Weinstein, actors Rob Reiner, Matt Bomer and more were all set to join the “Empire” creator in opposing the legislation. AMC, which films its hit show “The Walking Dead” in Georgia, also vowed to boycott the state, and to pull that production would have been a major blow to the state’s economy as the series has provided many jobs. Film and TV production has certainly helped increase tourism in the state, because filming in Georgia is quite attractive considering the tax incentives offered to studios.
Perhaps criticism and the financial risks pressured legislatures to send the bill to a “conference committee,” made up of three negotiators from the House and three from the Senate. Within hours they had all signed off on a new version – House Bill 904 – that included a measure which dealt with private companies’ anti-discrimination policies.
“It is the intent of the General Assembly to protect consumers, legitimate business enterprises, and other members of the public that rely on such statements, pledges and policies,” the new language said.
The new provisions would allow individuals who believe they have been discriminated against by a private employer to file a class action lawsuit against that company.