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After a meeting by corporate executives over Georgia’s new voting law, actor Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have pulled production of their movie “Emancipation” from the state of Georgia over recent voting legislation. The film — a thriller about a runaway slave that’s titled “Emancipation” — is the first big-budget movie project to pull out of the state on the basis of the new law.
In a joint statement, Smith and Fuqua said, Fuqua and Smith said,
“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,” it continued."
The movie was scheduled to start filming on June 21 and features Will Smith as the lead character. Mr. Smith was set to play the real-life enslaved man named Peter, who emancipated himself from a Southern plantation and joined the Union Army. His story became famous after photographs of his back, scarred by whippings, appeared in the pages of Harper’s Weekly.