In a joint announcement, obtained by CNN, the two cite Georgia’s new restrictive election laws as the reason behind this decision.
“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 the statement. “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.”
Smith and Fuqua added, “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 new election laws that Smith and Fuqua speak of in their statement were signed by Republican governor Brian Kemp in March and drew criticism from many who have called them out as voter suppression tactics aimed at reducing the number of Democratic voters, specifically Black voters, who helped turn Georgia blue in 2020.
Businesses like Fuqua’s Fuqua Films and Smith’s Westbrook, Inc. have been called on to take a stand against what is happening in Georgia.
Georgia-based companies Coca-Cola and Delta made statements in opposition of the law after receiving backlash for initially weak positions on the matter. Major League Baseball has relocated its All-Star games from Atlanta to Colorado. A coalition of businesses calling themselves Civic Alliance, which includes Capital One, Uber, Twitter, HP, Microsoft and others, released a statement that they, too, are in opposition to the new Georgia election laws.
Hollywood has boycotted the state of Georgia before.
In 2019, a handful of production companies refused to film there after Kemp signed the “heartbeat bill,” which restricted abortion upon detection of a fetal heartbeat.
Filming on Emancipation was due to begin in June.