Will Smith and Antonie Fuqua
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Will Smith And Antoine Fuqua Pull ‘Emancipation’ Production From Georgia Over Voter Suppression Law

In the wake of Georgia’s recently passed voting restrictions, Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith announced their new film “Emancipation” will be produced elsewhere, according to Variety. 

The law includes restrictions on absentee voting, such as reducing the time period for casting an absentee ballot, limits the use of dropboxes, requires identification from absentee voters, and makes it illegal to bring water and food to voters waiting in line. 

“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 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 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.”

The film was set to begin filming on June 21, though it is unclear where the production will move to. The movie stars Smith as Peter, a runaway slave who joined the Union Army. “Emancipation” is based on a true story. Fuqua will direct the film, and William N. Collage wrote the script. Fuqua Films and Smith’s media company Westbrook Inc. are backing the film. The movie reportedly sold to Apple Studios for $120 million.

Smith and Fuqua are joining a growing list of companies taking a stand against Georgia’s new voter laws. Last week, over 100 companies, including ViacomCBS, Twitter, and Apple, issued a joint statement condemning the restrictions. Major League Baseball decided to pull the All-Star Game out of the state.

While “Emancipation” is the first big production to leave the state, and it is unclear how many may follow. While some media companies have spoken out about the law, others have remained silent.


About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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