SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The 2021 MLB All-Star Game was moved out of Georgia earlier this month over a GOP-backed overhaul of state elections. Now, a film is pulling production because of the new voting law.
Actor Will Smith and director Antione Fuqua — also both producers of “Emancipation” — said they felt they couldn’t “provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.”
The drama, which was slated to begin shooting in June, was acquired by Apple Studios last year in a deal reportedly worth $130 million.
Lawmakers have been outspoken not only about the new law itself but the possible repercussions on the state’s industries in recent weeks. Following Monday’s news about “Emancipation,” the conversation continued among Georgia lawmakers.
Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) released the following statement:
I absolutely oppose and reject any notion of boycotting Georgia. Georgia welcomes business, investment, jobs, opportunity, and events. In fact, economic growth is driving much of the political progress we have seen here. Georgia welcomes the world’s business. Corporations disgusted like we are with the disgraceful Voter Suppression bill should stop any financial support to Georgia’s Republican Party, which is abusing its power to make it harder for Americans to vote.
Rep. Rick Allen (R) called the boycott a part of “cancel culture.”
He added: “If they want to make their business decision on a misinterpretation, total misinterpretation, of what the Georgia law does, then they are obviously not very good businesspeople.”
This is the second time in as many years a bill’s passing has threatened Georgia’s film industry.
In 2019, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill banning most abortions after six weeks. Though the “heartbeat bill” was ultimately struck down by a federal judge, several films pulled production in the state. At least two movies left Savannah.