Anti-gay bill’s consequences to film industry termed ‘devastating’

The law, House Bill 1523, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant Tuesday does not go into effect until July 1. But its expected consequences have brought bleakness to the outlook for the state’s film industry, said Rick Moore, president of Mississippi Film Studios, in an interview with the Mississippi Business Journal on Wednesday.

“It is devastating,” he said, predicting Hollywood studios “are going to be extremely reluctant to the point of ignoring and not considering Mississippi.”

If the stars refuse to come here, the studios won’t come, either, Moore said.

The Mississippi Film Office, which administers state incentives for movie and television productions, put the approximate direct instate production spending from 31 film and TV productions at $34 million in 2014. The production provided $4.8 million in wages to Mississippians that year, the Film Office said.