Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua have pulled the big-budget production for their new film Emancipation out of Georgia due to the restrictive voting law signed by Brian Kemp.
This is the first major project to be pulled out of the state because of the new law.
The runaway slave drama was slated to begin production on June 21, but there has been a change of plans.
In a joint statement, Will and Antoine said:
At this moment in time, the Nation is coming to terms with its history and is attempting to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice.
We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.
The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting.
Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.
Passed by a Republican legislature and signed into law by a Republican governor, the new voting law has been heavily criticized by observers as being overly restrictive — it curtails the use of dropboxes, enacts strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots, makes giving water and food to those waiting in line a crime — and targeting the state’s Black populations. Politicians and civil rights activists have called the law a harkening back to the era of Jim Crow, a time when many Southern states created laws that kept institutional racism intact even after the Civil War.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms weighed in on the news of Emancipation being pulled from Georgia via Twitter.
She tweeted, “….and the dominos continue to fall…“
Brian Kemp won’t be happy until he runs Georgia into the ground and the state is left in the cold with a thin sweater.