As Georgia Governor Nathan Deal considers signing the discriminatory Free Exercise Protection Act into law, Viacom joined other major media companies in delivering him this very clear message: don’t do it.
“Viacom is proud to champion diversity and acceptance, which are core values of our company,” a company spokesperson said in the Hollywood Reporter. “We have enjoyed doing business in Georgia for many years and we urge Governor Deal to continue to resist and reject the patently discriminatory laws being proposed.”
As a global company with programs and networks that speak to enormously diverse audiences, Viacom thrives on operating in the most invigorating environments. This means inclusive places that do not single out individuals or groups for discrimination. This bill, which was recently passed by the Georgia legislature, would unfortunately do just that.
As the Human Rights Campaign outlines in this article, this bill could, among other things, “…undermine local non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people, permit hospitals to refuse to provide medically necessary care, or even allow a taxpayer-funded service provider to discriminate by denying a job because of the applicant’s religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Our talent, our partners, and, most important, our fans, expect – insist, really – that we embrace our differences and orient our production toward places that do the same. Our hope is that Georgia remains one of those places for many years to come.