Attention Queers of Georgia! There is a lot of talk on social media about the likely-to-be-passed FADA and Pastor Protection Act that is working its way through the Georgia Legislature. You’ve probably seen a friend posting about how the film industry is ready to pull up stakes and abandon its billion-dollar industry in town if Georgia decides to go through with this heinous piece of legislation. All over the internet, LGBTQIAA QTs are posting about how Georgia will feel the wrath of Big Cinema if this law goes through. There’s just one problem:
HOLLYWOOD DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT.
The only person speaking about Hollywood getting ready to leave is Brian Tolleson, the head of a local production company, Bark Bark, here in Atlanta. While Tolleson is certainly entitled to prognosticate about Hollywood’s reaction to this law, he cannot speak for them. A local production company like Bark Bark is about as affiliated with the film industry as a local car dealership is affiliated with the Indy 500. They may seem related, but people, they are not.
The state of Georgia provides immense tax breaks to big time Hollywood productions and, spoiler alert, Hollywood is a capitalist enterprise, not a social one. They have no interest in fighting discrimination as long as their profit margins are safe. Remind me again of how many Hollywood productions left California after Prop 8 was passed? Exactly. None.
The same day that these articles about Hollywood leaving Georgia in solidarity with the queers in this state is the exact same date that the Gold Dome hosted Georgia Film Day, where various economic developers and legislators shook hands and patted each other on the back for a job well done. To quote the official press release:
“The unwavering support from Gov. Deal and our elected officials, by offering a stable and consistent production tax incentive, gives Georgia’s film industry the long term sustainability it needs to continue attracting a record number of productions,” said Chris Carr, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Our competitive incentive, combined with our diverse landscape, deep talent pool, extensive array of sound stages, community readiness, and the accessibility, are the reason why Georgia is one of the top states for film and television production.”
Does that sound like an industry that is ready to leave the state because some bakers are allowed to deny service to gay couples who want a wedding cake? I don’t think so and you shouldn’t either. Hollywood isn’t going to fight this fight for us. Once again, this comes down to the people of this state versus the bigots in the legislature. You can’t rely on a big business to save you. Their interest is in making money, not friends. Please, do not post about how Hollywood is leaving. Get off your ass, call Governor Nathan Deal at 404-656-1776, and demand a veto. This isn’t a movie. There is no hero. There is only us.
Full disclosure: Julian Modugno is a queermo employed in Atlanta’s burgeoning film industry and he hopes you will become politically woke and make an effort instead of hoping and praying that Hollywood wakes up and decides to self-destruct an industry that pays his (and hundreds of other film queers’) bills.