Will Smith film departs Georgia over voting restrictions

Will Smith film departs Georgia over voting restrictions

Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have attracted production of the runaway servant drama"Emancipation" from Georgia over the nation's recently enacted legislation limiting voting accessibility

NEW YORK -- Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have attracted production of the runaway servant drama"Emancipation" out of Georgia within the state's recently enacted legislation restricting voting accessibility.

The movie is the largest and most high profile Hollywood manufacturing to depart the nation since Georgia's Republican-controlled state Legislature passed a law which introduced stiffer voter identification requirements for absentee balloting, limited drop boxes and gave the State Election Board new forces to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. Opponents have said the law was made to reduce the effect of minority Republicans.

In a joint announcement, Smith and Fuqua -- who are both producers on the project -- said they felt forced to move the production from Georgia.

"We cannot in good conscience offer economic aid to a government that enacts regressive voting legislation which are designed to limit voter access," Smith and Fuqua stated. "The newest Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed in the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting."

"Emancipation" was scheduled to begin shooting in June. Apple Studios obtained the film last year in a deal reportedly worth $130 million. Based on a true story, the film stars Smith as a slave who flees a Louisiana plantation and joins the Union Army.

Hollywood's answer to the Georgia law was closely watched since the state is an important hub of film production and boasts generous tax incentives. Some filmmakers have said they would boycott, such as"Ford v. Ferrari" director James Mangold. But major studios have so far been largely quiet. In 2019, a Georgia anti-abortion legislation (later declared unconstitutional) prompted studios to threaten to stop production in the state.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS