LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On Monday, actor Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua announced their movie "Emancipation," will no longer be filmed in Georgia due to the new voting law that was passed in late March by Governor Brian Kemp.
"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," said Smith and Fuqua in a joint statement Monday.
"We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access," they said. "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."
This marks the first time that a movie is halting production in Georgia as a direct protest to the new bill. "Emancipation" is a movie about an enslaved man named Whipped Peter who is emancipated during the Civil War and joins the Union Army. Since 2008, Georgia has become a popular spot to film TV shows and movies due to the tax incentives the state provides.
The new Georgia voting bill includes a number of measures that activists say make it more difficult for Georgians to vote. Among its provisions, the bill makes it illegal to provide food and water to voters waiting on line outside of a polling station and requires mandatory proof of identification for absentee voting. There is no word yet on where the filming of the movie will be moved to.
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