Actor Will Smith and filmmaker Antoine Fuqua have stopped the production of their film “Emancipation” in Georgia due to the state’s newly enacted voting laws.
The exit is the latest in a string of rebukes by major corporations and organizations of the state’s recently passed laws, which nearly eliminates ballot drop-box locations, makes it more difficult to vote by mail and restricts the distribution of food and water throughout voting lines.
“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,” Smith and Fuqua said in a joint statement. “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.”
Based on a true story, “Emancipation,” which stars Smith as a slave who flees a Louisiana plantation and joins the Union Army, was scheduled to begin shooting in Georgia in June.