Georgia continues to suffer the fallout of the new voting law. The restrictions have been criticized from coast to coast as politicians and activists claim that the Deep South state has erected new laws that are much like those of the Jim Crow era. This has caused the MLB to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta, and some companies are being urged to either speak against the new laws or remove themselves from Georgia altogether.
As Atlanta has been dubbed the “Hollywood of the South,” many in the entertainment industry are being asked to flex their famous and influential muscles to bring awareness to the cause. Tyler Perry famously hosts his production studio in the state, and while he will continue to crank out shows and films, it’s being reported by Deadline that Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua have yanked their runaway-slave thriller Emancipation from filming in the Peach State.
“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,” a statement reads. “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.”
Emancipation will reportedly move locations and begin filming in Louisiana instead. How much will this switch up set back production? Somewhere around $15 million, claims Deadline. “Smith will play Peter, a slave who fled a plantation in Louisiana after he was whipped within an inch of his life,” reports the outlet. “He had to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a torturous journey north. There, he joined the Union Army.”
There has been much criticism from the Black community about slave films in recent years, but Smith fans are looking forward to what he and Fuqua have crafted. On the film Instagram page, producers have highlighted poignant moments in Black history. Check out a few posts below.