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Will Smith is once again taking a stand for change.
On Monday (Apr 12), the legendary triple threat and director Antoine Fuqua announced that they have decided to eliminate plans to film their new movie, Emancipation, in Georgia as a protest over the controversial legislation.
“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,” Smith and Fuqua said in the statement. “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.”
The two also note that decision was “reminiscent of voting impediments” passed during the Reconstruction era that was intended to prohibit people of color from voting.
“The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting,” they continued. “Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the project’s start date, which was slated to begin filming in June. “Emancipation” is the first major Hollywood production to pull out of Georgia since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the restrictions into law on March 25.
As previously reported, the Georgia governor has faced stark criticism over approving measures, which include limiting the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots and barring voting groups from providing food and water to those standing in line to vote.
Fuqua and Smith’s announcement comes a little more than a week after Major League Baseball cited the voting law in its decision to relocate the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver citing that the newly enacted law will have a disproportionate impact on Black voters and the league fully supports inclusion.