New York, NY — GLAAD, the world's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) media advocacy organization, today released an open letter by entertainment leaders inVariety calling for an end to anti-LGBT bills popping up across the country. Art Director's Guild, CAA, National Association of Latino Independent Producers ( NALIP ), Netflix, SAG-AFTRA, Univision, and Viacom all undersigned the letter sending a message to governors and state legislatures alike that anti-LGBT legislation are not congruent with their values.
"The entertainment industry is not only important to the U.S. economy, it is incredibly influential in shaping our culture," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD. "The leaders undersigning this letter are sending a clear and powerful message to governors and state legislatures that these anti-LGBT bills are unacceptable."
The open letter reads:
As representatives of our nation's entertainment and media industry, we wish to express our profound disappointment in the proliferation of anti-LGBT legislation being considered across this great country. By standing together — and alongside so many others who are speaking out from the corporate and business communities at the national, state, and local levels — we hope to demonstrate that the kind of discrimination being proposed — and in some cases enacted — is simply unacceptable.
Recently, North Carolina went further than any state has gone by passing a bill that was immediately signed by the state's governor, revoking important protections for LGBT people previously secured at the local level. This new legislation asserts that state law overrides all local ordinances addressing employment, wages, or public accommodations.
Meanwhile, over 100 other bills targeting LGBT people have been introduced in states and cities across the country. It's important to note that these attacks don't just put LGBT Americans in the crosshairs; they also put the basic rights of other religious and ethnic minorities in jeopardy.
The results of such laws taking effect across the nation makes it difficult to attract and retain workers, grow local and state economies, and bring top talent to schools and universities — all of which our communities depend on for sustainability. Finally, it undermines the core values of the companies we represent and those of a majority of this nation's most successful and profitable businesses.
Let us be clear. Entertainment is not just one of our nation's most powerful economic drivers, it's also one of our greatest cultural exports to the rest of the world. As leaders charged with making a difference in your cities, towns, and states, we implore you to stand with us and reject any and all efforts to legalize discrimination. Send a strong and clear message to the rest of the world that America — and your communities — remain places where all people are respected, welcomed, and treated equally.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD onFacebook and Twitter .