It looks like the controversial voting laws recently passed in Georgia are now impacting its film industry.
Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua are pulling their upcoming Apple movie, Emancipation, out of Georgia due to the voting laws. It was scheduled to start filming in the state on June 21.
Fuqua and Smith released a joint statement…
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.
No word on what state they have chosen. For those who don’t remember, Apple purchased rights to the project for around $125 million last year.
This story is described as a passion project for both Smith and Fuqua.
The film is based on William N. Collage’s script about ‘Whipped Peter,’ who was an actual enslaved person who emancipated himself from a Southern plantation and joined the Union Army. When the Army doctor examined Peter, he discovered terrible scars from numerous whippings over the years, and the subsequent photos that were published made shockwaves around the country, with one image becoming known as ‘The Scourged Back.’