Will Smith, Antoine Fuqua move ‘Emancipation’ shoot out of Georgia due to voting laws
The announcement is the latest economic fallout from new restrictions that critics characterize as voter suppression
In response to Georgia’s controversial new voting restrictions, this week it’s been confirmed that Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua will be moving production on their upcoming film Emancipation out of the 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,” Fuqua and Smith said in a joint statement.
The statement continues, “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.”
According to Variety, the big-budget, runaway slave thriller stars Smith as Peter, “a fugitive from slavery who is fleeing Louisiana in the hopes of traveling north to freedom. Fuqua will direct from a script by William N. Collage.”
Fuqua Films and Smith’s media company Westbrook Inc. are backing the film, which was originally set to start filming on June 21st. Currently, there is no word of where the project will set up shop next in lieu of Georgia, which has become a mecca for TV and film productions thanks to both Tyler Perry and Marvel.
Despite the filmmaking incentives, many creatives are removing their business from the Peach State. They are protesting Gov. Brian Kemp and the state legislature’s hotly contested decision to pass new regulations that critics say amount to voter suppression and a re-imagining of Jim Crow.
As we previously reported, Major League Baseball also announced the relocation of the 2021 All-Star Game due to Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws. However, when the ladies of The View tackled the topic, Meghan McCain’s views on the matter immediately sparked controversy.
McCain claimed she is “really disappointed” in President Joe Biden for supporting MLB’s decision. She added he is the “first sitting president in U.S. history to call for an economic boycott targeting a specific state.”
Donald Trump also issued a statement, calling for a boycott of the sport and called out the “Radical Left Democrats, who do not want voter I.D.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” But McCain claimed since MLB is boycotting Georgia, other places should be subject to the same treatment.
“They should boycott that too,” said McCain. “Put your money where your mouth is. Just completely remove yourself entirely from Georgia since it’s a racist, deplorable, unforgivable place.”
She then adds: “If we’re going to do this sliding scale with the Biden administration, you need to come out today and boycott the Beijing Olympics,” she explained. “There is mass genocide going on with the Uighurs there. You have nothing to say?! We’re still going to the Olympics where mass genocide is happening, but we’re going boycott everything in the state of Georgia. That is ridiculous!”
Eventually, View cohost Whoopi Goldberg interrupts, first saying, “Oh, for frog’s legs”…and then, ‘Are you done?”
“Yes, yes. Sorry,” responds McCain who seemed momentarily confused by Goldberg’s interruption.
Goldberg then responded saying the laws, which were intended to counter alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election, were based on untruths in the first place.
“I’m telling you this all came about because of a lie,” she said. “There was no problem with the election. There was no problem. They couldn’t find one. They couldn’t find one. So let’s start with that.”
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