Will Smith's slavery film, 'Emancipation', pulls out of Georgia over voting laws

by Helvine Achieng
April 15, 2021

Will Smith's slavery film Emancipation has pulled out of filming in Georgia over what the star has called the US state's new "regressive voting laws".In a statement issued to Deadline by Smith and director Antoine Fuqua, the pair said they felt "compelled" to act.

"We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access."

It is the first film to pull out of the state since the new laws came into effect - but others could follow suit. Over the discussed issues, Deadline said the Emancipation producers' move comes after weeks of discussions between the filmmakers, film officials, and Georgia political leaders, including voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

"Georgia has been using cash to steal movie jobs from other states that allow people to vote," he tweeted. "I don't want to play there".

According to Georgia's film commission, more top-grossing movies are shot there "than anywhere else in the world" - with recent productions including Deadpool, Avengers: Endgame, Wandavision, Stranger Things and The Walking Dead.

Martin Luther King Jr's daughter, Bernice King, has also asked filmmakers to reconsider.

"Please stop the #BoycottGeorgia talk," she said. "That would hurt middle-class workers and people grappling with poverty. And it would increase the harm of both racism and classism."