Tyler Perry Slams Ga. Anti-Gay Bill

Perry is urging Georgia’s governor to veto bill H.B. 757, which threatens to siphon millions in lost entertainment and sports revenue from the Peach State’s coffers. 

Tyler Perry in 2015
Tyler Perry in 2015 MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images

Tyler Perry is the latest in a throng of celebrity and media voices to condemn Georgia’s recent anti-gay bill. In a statement released Friday, the media mogul and actor’s TP Studios called on the state’s governor to veto it.

A spokesperson for the company—whose 200,000-square-foot complex is in Atlanta—encouraged Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to reject a bill that discriminates against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to Deadline Hollywood: “At Tyler Perry Studios, we believe in inclusion and equality for all people.”

The outlet reports that the Free Exercise Protection Act, aka House Bill 757, was passed through the Georgia Assembly last week. The bill aims in part “to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion” and allows faith-based organizations not to hire or to provide services to those who “violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.” 

Deal has until May 3 to sign or veto the bill, surely knowing that the state stands to lose millions in business if the legislation passes.

According to Deadline, Perry’s statement comes just days after Disney’s announcement that it would pull its business and productions out of Georgia if Deal signs the “religious liberty” bill into law. Netflix, Time Warner, CBS, Fox, Sony Pictures, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, NBCUniversal, Discovery, Open Road Films, the Weinstein Co., Lionsgate, MGM and AMC—whose blockbuster TV series The Walking Dead is made in Georgia—are among those who have urged a veto of the bill.

H.B. 757 has also been condemned by the NFL and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Perry himself has a lot of weight to swing in the state. He is reportedly planning on bringing even more business to Georgia when he expands his already huge studio complex to the former site of Atlanta’s Fort McPherson Army Base.

“We do not tolerate bigotry, division and discrimination,” the Perry spokesperson also said. “We have tremendous confidence in Governor Deal’s leadership and ability to continue to lead our great state forward and urge him to veto this bill.”

Read more at Deadline Hollywood.

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