As the state of Georgia seeks to suppress African American votes, power brokers in the entertainment industry have been leaving the “Peach Tree State” for greener pastures. The latest names added to the list are Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua.
It was announced Monday that Will Smith and his media company Westbrook Inc. along with director/producer Antoine Fuqua and his Fuqua Films have decided to move production of their forthcoming film, Emancipation from the state because of the voting law.
“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,” the two said in a joint statement obtained by CNN. “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,” Smith and Fuqua added.
According to Deadline, the production of Emancipation will pick back up in Louisiana, the state where the events actually took place.
The racist law, Senate Bill 202, signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, has caused outrage from residents of Georgia and throughout the county. The MLB moved this year’s all-star game from Atlanta. Included in the bill is the requirement of identification for absentee ballots, limits on drop boxes, cuts down early voting hours, and disqualifies provisional ballots mistakenly cast in the wrong precinct, and even makes it illegal to hand out bottled water to people waiting in line to vote.
As Smith and Fuqua make their exit, several other industries and Georgia-based businesses face boycotts due to voter suppression.