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‘Emancipation’ Filming Shifted from Georgia in Response to Voting Restrictions

Credit: Unsplash

Georgia recently implemented new voting restrictions for local and national elections, causing uproar among individuals and companies. These strict laws include shorter absentee voting periods, mandatory voter identification for absentee ballots, limited access to ballot drop boxes, and even a prohibition on providing food and water to voters waiting in line. These measures were introduced following baseless allegations of voter fraud by former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election.

Several prominent entities, such as Major League Baseball and Coca-Cola, have voiced criticism of these laws. MLB notably relocated the All-Star game from Atlanta as a form of protest. Additionally, various major media companies have taken a stand, with some companies and actors expressing their refusal to participate in any projects filmed in Georgia. The most recent project to withdraw from Georgia is the filming of the movie Emancipation, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Will Smith. The film depicts the true story of a runaway slave portrayed by Smith fleeing from Louisiana. Initially scheduled to commence filming in June, the director, Fuqua, has opted to move production to a different location due to Georgia’s new voting regulations.

In a joint statement, Fuqua and Smith stated, “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 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.”

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