Will Smith is not rocking with Georgia’s controversial new voting laws. According to Deadline, Smith and director Antoine Fuqua are officially pulling the production of their new film, Emancipation, from the Peach State in response to the new voting laws.
Emancipation tells the true story of a runaway slave played by Will Smith who had to survive the dangerous swamps of Louisiana in order to escape hunters on his trail. After battling with Warner Bros., Apple bought the film in a deal worth $130 million.
“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 a 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 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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The move comes weeks after discussions between the filmmakers and film officials in Georgia and with political leaders like Stacey Abrams. Along with Tyler Perry and others, Abrams urged Hollywood not to take film productions away from the state in response to the new restrictive voting laws signed by Republican governor Brian Kemp.
Will Smith has been using his platform lately to talk about the issues that impact US citizens. In February, Smith and Netflix teamed up for a six-part documentary series titled Amend: The Fight for America, which explores the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.