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Will Smith moves production of his new slavery movie Emancipation out of Georgia in protest over new voting laws even though it'll cost another $15million

 Will Smith has moved production of his new slave film Emancipation from Georgia to Louisiana in protest over the state's new voting laws, which critics say will suppress minority voters. 

The decision will cost an estimated $15million and is the latest retaliation by businesses against the new voting laws which crackdown on ID checks when voting and limit absentee ballots. 

Companies like Coca-Cola have spoken out against them which prompted outrage among conservative consumers who lambasted the corporation for politicizing its goods. Mitch McConnell said it's a sign of companies acting like a 'a woke parallel government' and that they'd face tax consequences. 


MLB has also moved its All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver. Gov. Brian Kemp says the move will harm the businesses near the baseball stadium where it was due to be held, many of which are minority-owned.  

In Atlanta - where it was set to be filmed - production companies get enormous tax kick backs as incentives to film there. 

Apple bought the rights to the movie for $105million after Smith and Fuqua had signed on. It was due to begin production in June 2021. It's unclear now when filming will start in Louisiana. 

In a statement, Smith and the film's director Antoine Fuqua 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.  

Smith and the movie's director Antoine Fuqua said they couldn't 'in good conscience' give business to Georgia after the recent voting reform
Smith and the movie's director Antoine Fuqua said they couldn't 'in good conscience' give business to Georgia after the recent voting reform

Smith and the movie's director Antoine Fuqua said they couldn't 'in good conscience' give business to Georgia after the recent voting reform

'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 pair said.  

Gov. Kemp has not yet commented on the decision, nor has Apple.  

The new laws enforce tougher ID checks on mail-in ballots, shortens the window for mail-in ballots and run-off elections and makes it more difficult for people to drop ballots off at drop boxes.


It was driven by Republicans who want to tighten election security in the state after a disastrous November 2020 Presidential election, the result of which was hotly contested and took days to reach. 

Proponents of the law say it will avoid a similar debacle by cracking down on fraud - which some feel was rampant at the 2020 November election. 

Critics, including Smith, say the laws will unfairly suppress minority voting. They say that it is too harsh to require a photo ID to vote absentee by mail, shorten absentee ballot voting periods and limit ballot drop boxes. 

Ann White of Roswell holds protest signs on the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol building on day 38 of the legislative session in Atlanta

Ann White of Roswell holds protest signs on the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol building on day 38 of the legislative session in Atlanta

Georgia Gov Brian Kemp on Saturday at a press conference held at a po'boy restaurant near the Atlanta baseball stadium where the All Star game was due to be played but has since been moved from

Georgia Gov Brian Kemp on Saturday at a press conference held at a po'boy restaurant near the Atlanta baseball stadium where the All Star game was due to be played but has since been moved from 

The game was due to be played at Truist Park in Atlanta but the MLB has moved it to Denver

The game was due to be played at Truist Park in Atlanta but the MLB has moved it to Denver 

Drop boxes - which were used for the first time in 2020 as a special measure brought on by the pandemic - were available outdoors, 24 hours a day in November. 

Under the new law, they will be located inside voting offices and will only be accessible during the hours that early voting is accessible. 

The film tells the story of Whipped Peter, a former slave known in the history books only as Gordon who escaped from a plantation in Louisiana and joined the Union Army. He had been whipped so severely that his back was deformed. A photograph of his injuries was taken in Baton Rouge in 1863 and became one of the most well-known images of slavery at the time

The film tells the story of Whipped Peter, a former slave known in the history books only as Gordon who escaped from a plantation in Louisiana and joined the Union Army. He had been whipped so severely that his back was deformed. A photograph of his injuries was taken in Baton Rouge in 1863 and became one of the most well-known images of slavery at the time

The law also shortens the window of runoff elections - where a second election is held to determine a winner after a first failed to. In January this year, Democrats won both of the US Senate runoffs held. 

Apple is not the first business to boycott the state in protest over the law. 

Major League Baseball has moved its All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver - a move which has outraged many sports fans. 

On Saturday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp held a press conference where he said moving the game would harm the businesses near the stadium. 

The film tells the story of Whipped Peter, a former slave known in the history books only as Gordon who escaped from a plantation in Louisiana and joined the Union Army. He had been whipped so severely that his back was deformed. A photograph of his injuries was taken in Baton Rouge in 1863 and became one of the most well-known images of slavery at the time. 

Apple bought the rights to the movie for $105million after Smith and Fuqua had signed on. It was due to begin production in June 2021. It's unclear now when filming will start in Louisiana. 

The last time Hollywood came to blows with the state of Georgia was in 2019 after a controversial abortion law was passed. 

The 'heartbeat law' would have banned abortions passed the time a fetus has a heartbeat - something that often can start at 6 weeks, before a woman knows she is pregnant.

The ACLU lambasted the proposed law and Hollywood followed, threatening to pull productions from the state if it was passed. 

It was rejected by a federal judge last July. 

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