Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua have announced that that they will stop filming their new film, Emancipation, in the state of Georgia. The decision is largely driven by the state's newly approved restrictive voting law, SB 202. The bill nearly eliminates dropbox ballot boxes, makes it more difficult to vote by mail and restricts the distribution of food and water throughout long voting lines. This bill has garnered push back from voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, President Joe Biden and now Will Smith.
“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. We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access," the duo stated.
"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.”
Smith and Fuqua are not the only two stars to move their work away from the state of Georgia. Major League Baseball recently moved the 2021 MLB All-Star Game from Cobb County, Georgia to Denver, Colorado.
"Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated.
"I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year's All-Star Game and MLB Draft."
The 2021 MLB All-Star Game found a new home in Denver on July 13. However, Emancipation has not found a new home just yet. Fuqua and Smith were set to begin filming in June, but no filming location has been identified just yet.
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