“Right now, the nation is coming to terms with its history and trying to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice. We cannot in good conscience give economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws designed to restrict voter access, ”Fuqua and Smith said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, we feel pressured to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.”
“Emancipation” will now be filmed in Louisiana, where part of the action takes place. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Filming is scheduled to begin in June.
The factual drama thriller stars Smith as Peter, a slave who escapes from a plantation in Louisiana and returns home to the North, where he joins the Union Army. Apple bought the rights to the film for $ 130 million last year. Production could lose up to $ 15 million in “tax rebates” due to the move.
Georgia has become one of the most popular places for studios to shoot their movies and TV series, with Disney, HBO, Netflix and others all working there. The state offers both the prospect of experienced crews and well-equipped sound stages, as well as some of the richest incentives in the country, by handing over dollar amounts to productions up to 30% of a production’s budget, see more. Packages from other states are not as generous.
Over the weekend, more than 100 CEOs across a wide range of industries came together virtually to debate next steps to protest the law. The move into US business has sparked a Republican backlash, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Saying last week that these companies should “stay out of politics.”
Since the signing of the bill, many entertainment entities have issued statements on voting rights.
ViacomCBS said, “We believe unequivocally in the importance for all Americans to have an equal right to vote and to oppose the recent suffrage law in Georgia or any effort that hinders the ability to vote. ‘exercise this vital constitutional right. ” He did not cite a boycott.
NBC Universal’s parent, Comcast, said that “efforts to limit or prevent access” to voting “are inconsistent with our values.” However, he did not specifically mention Georgian law or the state.
Before Monday, no large company had withdrawn production from the state.
It is not known if others will. So far, only certain people, such as director James Mangold and “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill “, have said they will not work in Georgia. While Major League Baseball, which recently moved the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Colorado to protest the law, will not suffer materially from the exit, a move out of Georgia would be both expensive and costly for them. movie studios.
In addition, some entertainment figures, including Tyler Perry, who runs a large studio in Atlanta, opposed a boycott, saying it would harm working-class Georgians.
“While some are considering boycotting, remember we made Georgia blue and there’s a gubernatorial race on the horizon – that’s the beauty of a democracy,” Perry said in a recent press release.
Before the pandemic, the Motion Picture Association estimated that film and television production supported more than 90,000 jobs in Georgia.