The American entertainment weekly wrote about the Hungarian anti-LGBTQ law in its Thursday issue, highlighting that the parliament’s decision “cast a shadow over one of the world’s top production hubs.”
According to variety.com, Hungary hosted productions such as Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi tentpole Dune, Sony’s The Nightingale, Amazon Studios’ Birds of Paradise, TNT’s The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, and the Netflix fantasy series called The Witcher.
RTL Klub, the Hungarian arm of the German media company, which is also the largest Hungarian broadcaster, co-signed a statement with HBO, SPI International, and A+E Networks that condemned homophobia. Furthermore, they added that even Harry Potter, Modern Family, or Friends could be forced to be shown exclusively on late-night television if the bill is accepted.
“We worry that the bill gravely harms freedom of expression, human rights, and basic freedoms,”
the statement said.
The movie industry made record revenue for Hungary in 2019 with more than $565.6 million, so losing it would harm the country’s economy significantly.
Variety says that “Disney threatened to boycott Georgia over its anti-LGBTQ laws in 2016, and the company was joined by Netflix, WarnerMedia, Sony, and other studios in threatening to take their business elsewhere over the controversial anti-abortion law proposed by the state in 2019. Netflix moved its hit series “Outer Banks” from North Carolina because of that state’s controversial anti-LGBTQ laws, which had already prompted protests from the likes of A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox in 2016.”
Variety wrote that
it is uncertain whether studios will make such harsh decisions in the case of Hungary.
However, they will not risk potential PR fallout. For example, WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Bros. and TNT, already said that it would not tolerate homophobia, prejudice, or discrimination.
Sony, Amazon, and Netflix have not commented on the new Hungarian law yet. However, Netflix cancelled the production of its Turkish original If Only over government censorship of a gay character in the script.
Variety writes that Hungarian film commissioner Csaba Káel told them that the anti-LGBTQ legislation, which was tacked onto a separate bill that increased the penalties for paedophilia, is “principally strengthening the child protection system,” and expressed
hopes that the industry would not be affected by any potential backlash.
“Hungary offers highly skilled film professionals, world-class facilities, amazing locations, and a generous tax rebate to the international film community,” he added. “I firmly believe all these aspects are of more importance than politics.”
The American magazine concludes that gay marriage is not recognised in Hungary, and the government banned same-sex adoptions in 2020.
They call PM Viktor Orbán a hardline nationalist who rallied against migrants and the LGBTQ community.