Will Smith, director Antoine Fuqua pull movie production from Georgia over state's anti-minority voting law
'Cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,' Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua said in a statement.
Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have pulled production of their runaway slave drama Emancipation from Georgia over the state’s recently enacted law restricting voting access.
The film is the largest and most high profile Hollywood production to depart the state since Georgia’s Republican-controlled state Legislature passed a law that introduced stiffer voter identification requirements for absentee balloting, limited drop boxes and gave the State Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials. Opponents have said the law is designed to reduce the impact of minority voters.
In a joint statement, Smith and Fuqua — who are both producers on the project — said they felt compelled to move the production out of Georgia.
“We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,” Smith and Fuqua said. “The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting.”
Emancipation had been scheduled to begin shooting in June. Apple Studios acquired 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 response to the Georgia law has been closely watched because the state is a major hub of film production and boasts generous tax incentives. Some filmmakers have said they would boycott, including Ford v. Ferrari director James Mangold. But major studios have so far been largely quiet. In 2019, a Georgia anti-abortion law (later declared unconstitutional) prompted studios to threaten to cease production in the state.
'Good depiction of that uncomfortable, icky feeling:' US midwives on Pieces of a Woman's 'subversive' home birth scene
The home birth scene in Pieces of a Woman has gotten midwives applauding the naturalistic birth as a new frontier in screen depictions, even as they argue that several details made it fall short of a fully empowered experience.
Owen Wilson to feature in Paramount action film Secret Headquarters; Project Power director duo to helm
Secret Headquarters is about a kid who discovers the secret headquarters of the world’s most powerful superhero hidden beneath his home
Hollywood couple, behind Searchlight Pictures' five Oscar-winning films including Nomadland, call it quits after 21 years
Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, senior executives at Searchlight Pictures for 21 of its 27 years, who shaped global culture with Oscar-winning hits like Nomadland, 12 Years a Slave, Black Swan, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Slumdog Millionaire, announced their surprise retirement on 20 April.