Will Smith ‘Emancipation’ Film Will Not Be Shot In Georgia Because Of Voting Restrictions | Film News
Film director Antoine Fuqua and actor Will Smith will move production of their big-budget thriller Emancipation, about fugitive slaves, out of the Georgia region in protest at a law recently passed in the US state.
“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”, said both men.
In addition to increased identity checks, the law signed by Georgia’s Republican governor also bans the distribution of water or food in long lines on voting days and restricts the number of ballot boxes set up on the street to cast ballots.
Critics of the law have compared its provisions to the restrictions imposed by the so-called “Jim Crow” segregation laws, which many Southern states introduced after the Civil War to limit the voting rights of African-Americans.
This is in total contrast to the film which stars Will Smith as Peter, a fugitive from slavery who flees Louisiana in the hope of making his way north to freedom. It is based on the true story of Whipped Peter, a slave who emancipated himself from a Southern plantation and joined the Union army.
In May 1863, The Independent newspaper published a photo of Peter’s back being lacerated with lashes. A photo that became irrefutable proof of the cruelty of slavery in America.
The film will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and is being sold to Apple Studio. As for the location, it is highly likely that the film will be shot in Louisiana, where the actual events of the thriller took place. The relocation of the film set will cost around $15 million due to the loss of tax breaks that make Georgia a very beneficial state for film production.
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