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Will there be a #boycotthungary? Hollywood faces a decision

ORIGO Film Studio - rainbow ribbon on the studio's logo

ORIGO Film Studio – rainbow ribbon on the studio’s logo

Hungarian people protesting ath House of Parliament against the anti-LGBTQ law

Hungarian people protesting ath House of Parliament against the anti-LGBTQ law

As the Hungarian film industry protests against the severely discriminatory law, Hollywood giants are still silent on Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Any boycott on the current situation would in fact put not the Hungarian government but Hungarian filmmakers and their families in an awkward position.”

— Budapest Reporter correspondent

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, June 18, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Hollywood has always been sensitive to gay rights. In 2016, a #boycottgeorgia campaign was launched over the then anti-LGBTQ law in Georgia, which caused major film studios to stop filming.

Now the situation is quite similar. Hungary’s governing party passed a law that bans the dissemination to minors of content deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change — a move that has drawn condemnation from leading broadcasters and cast a shadow over one of the world’s top production hubs.

In a statement provided to Variety, WarnerMedia says it “does not tolerate homophobia, prejudice or discrimination.”

“We stand against all forms of homophobia, prejudice or discrimination and are proud to believe in an inclusive and collaborative society that is enriched by a diversity of voices and experiences,” the statement read. “The enduring power of all of our stories can open our eyes to the world, to each other and to new and different perspectives.”

Currently, Marvel’s Moon Knight series is filming in Budapest, Legendary’s Borderlands has just finished filming, and the crew of Disney’s Poor Things has arrived in the country. There are industry rumours that Shadow and Bone, famous for its diversity, could also return to Hungary for a second season – Budapest Reporter reports.

Hungarian film commissioner Csaba Káel told Variety that the anti-LGBTQ legislation, which was tacked onto a separate bill that increased the penalties for pedophilia, is “principally strengthening the child protection system,” and expressed hopes that the industry would not be affected by any potential backlash.

Meanwhile the government’s ambassador to Peru, Gábor Kaleta, was given a suspended prison sentence for possessing 19,000 paedophile photos in 2020 after being taken home. This judgment was blatantly mild from all points of view. The law that has now been passed makes this offence punishable by up to life imprisonment without pardon. Apparently Orban is very lenient with his own. That is why the current anti-LGBTQ law can be nothing more than an election campaign and a distraction.

“Hungary offers highly skilled film professionals, world-class facilities, amazing locations and a generous tax rebate to the international film community,” Hungarian film commissioner Csaba Káel said “I firmly believe all these aspects are of more importance than politics.”

The Hungarian film industry and cultural scene are also protesting against the seriously discriminatory law. In response to our question, they said “Any boycott on the current situation would in fact put not the Hungarian government but Hungarian filmmakers and their families in an awkward position.” The NGOs representing artists and film professionals are preparing a joint action.

Many Hungarian filmmakers expressed their solidarity – BpR reported – among them at ORIGO Film Studio the staff tied a rainbow-coloured ribbon on the ORIGO logo.

“There is serious work and dedication in all 24,000 Hungarian film professionals to make sure that the productions that choose Hungary are completed on time, within budget and that all crew members enjoy their time here. A law passed during an election period would do no good if it undid this work. Political ideologies, parties and presidents are constantly changing, in the United States as well as here in Hungary. But the films made here remain. We believe that Hollywood’s decision makers are smarter than a hasty decision,” said Mihály Tóth, Marketing Director of ORIGO Film Studio.

Witty Sharp
Market Reporter Publishing Corp
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