Earlier this week, two prominent Black filmmakers took a stand against Georgia’s new, restrictive voting laws by pulling their upcoming project out of the state. Emancipation, a slave drama starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua for Apple TV, will no longer be shooting in the Peach 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. “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.”
The laws, signed by Republican governor Brian Kemp in the wake of Georgia’s Democratic victories in the presidential and Senate elections, disproportionately restrict voting access for Black and poor voters through things such as limiting the number of ballot drop boxes and narrowing the window to request an absentee ballot. The backlash from Democrats has been fast and furious. President Biden called the new laws “un-American” and “sick,” equating them to “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”