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We all know that entertainment and pop culture are a driving force in this country, as well as around the world, and the film and television industry is currently coming together in taking a stance against Georgia lawmakers over the discriminating “religious liberty” bill that’s awaiting a decision from the state’s governor Nathan Deal. And while it’s been networks and production companies threatening to pull all productions from the state, now the streaming giant Netflix has entered the argument, and no one there is happy about what’s going on, either. According to a company spokesperson:
Netflix is an inclusive company. We recently completed two films and a series in Georgia and had planned on filming two series there in the coming months. Should any legislation allow discriminatory practice be signed into state law, we will move our productions elsewhere.
That sounds about as cut and dry as anything that would come out of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood. Wait, do you think he was the “spokesperson” in question? Probably not.
No one wants to lose business in any situation, obviously, and Netflix is an especially big draw, considering the company is only getting bigger and more money is flowing than ever before. Plus, no one at Netflix is all that interested in canceling original series, so any production started in George would likely to get at least two or three years before ending, if not more. And now that original movies are a growing part of the streaming service’s output, the sky is the limit for how much business Netflix could bring to a given area.
The series that was recently wrapped up in The Peach State is the supernatural thriller Stranger Things, starring Winona Ryder and David Harbour, which debuts in July. Created by Matt and Ross Duffer, of Wayward Pines and Hidden, Stranger Things was originally called Montauk, and was supposed to be centered there, until issues arose that necessitated changes that Georgia lucked out on. On the film side, Georgia was the production setting for Adam Sandler’s upcoming comedy The Do-Over, as directed by Steven Brill, as well as the Kevin James comedy True Memoirs of an International Assassin, as helmed by Jeff Wadlow.
According to Deadline, Georgia took in more than $1.7 billion in direct spending through 2015. And even if there are companies that would stick around if the bill get passed into law, there would be no way to truly recuperate after losing big players like Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS, Amblin, Discovery and The Walking Dead’s home of AMC, among many others.
There’s no telling just what will end up happening with this bill, which would allow business to turn away customers (such as the LGBT community) that don’t match up with the employees’ religious practices. The same situation is happening in North Carolina, which is already getting its own negative feedback. Stay tuned for a resolution that ultimately can’t make everyone happy.