The Walking Dead takes place in the state of Georgia — and is filmed there. This is partially possible due to Georgia’s extremely generous 20% tax credit program, which has attracted other filmmakers to the state. Disney in particular has been filming its most recent Marvel movies in Georgia; Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War were shot there and the studio is currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in the state.
This could all be flushed away if a controversial bill now lying on the Governor’s desk is approved. Called the Free Exercise Protection Act, it “allows faith-based organizations to refuse employment to people whose beliefs they deem in conflict with their own.” The threat of making discrimination legal for a certain group of people (which any business could then claim to be a part of) has Hollywood outraged. Disney has given Georgia an ultimatum: if they pass that, they’ll pack up their tents and leave.
It’s not that simple for AMC, who’s been using the Georgia scenery on The Walking Dead for six seasons now. But this isn’t to say they’re happy or okay with it. “As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible,” the network said in a released statement. “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.”
By some estimates revenue from film productions brought in over six billion dollars to Georgia’s economy in 2015. Odds are leaning toward the bill being defeated, since it’s happened once already and that is a lot of money to throw away just to stick it to the gays. A similar law is already in effect in Indiana, but nobody films movies there.