On Monday it was announced that director / producer Antoine Fuqua and his films Fuqua and actor / producer Will Smith and his media company Westbrook Inc. they chose to move production of their upcoming film “Emancipation” to the state.
“Right now, the Nation is accepting its history and trying to remove vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice,” the couple said in a joint statement obtained by CNN. “We cannot, in good conscience, provide financial support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws designed to restrict voter access.”
“Georgia’s new voting laws recall the voting impediments that were passed at the end of the Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting,” Fuqua and Smith added in their statement. “Unfortunately, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.”
CNN has contacted representatives from the Georgian film and television industry to comment.
Georgia’s new election law was signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in March and immediately angered those who characterized it as suppressing voters.
Proponents have argued that the law makes Georgia’s elections safer and actually expands access to the vote.
Georgia was the target of former President Trump and his supporters as full of election fraud in the last presidential election, which has been shown to be false.
It’s not the first time the state has faced boycott calls and the loss of Hollywood revenue in the face of a controversial law.
In 2019, a group of producers announced that they would no longer film in Georgia after Kemp signed the “Heartbeat Bill” that restricted abortions in some cases if there was a fetal heartbeat.
The state has actively courted Hollywood and in 2008 approved a 30% tax credit for productions shot in Georgia.
“Emancipation,” starring Smith and directed by Fuqua, was scheduled to begin filming on June 21st.