Amid the backlash of Georgia’s sweeping voting rights overhaul, Hollywood heavyweights are threatening economic consequences for the pro-production state and calling for a federal inquiry.
Controversial new law requires state-issued ID for absentee voting, limits the number of ballot boxes, and bans the distribution of food and water to those in line to vote, among other measures criticized as efforts by the Republican-controlled Legislature as efforts to suppress voting rights.
The law drew rebuke from Democrats, including President Joe Biden and former Georgia State Representative-turned-voter activist Stacey Abrams, who dedicated her work to making it easier for people of color and communities to vote. low income in Georgia.
On Tuesday, Tyler Perry became the latest filmmaker to speak, urging the Justice Department to assess the law and saying it “reminds of the Jim Crow era.” Perry’s rise as an independent mogul over the past two decades has paralleled the rise of Atlanta as a production hub.
“As a Georgia resident and business owner, I have been here a few times with the Anti-Abortion Bill and the LGBTQ Discrimination Bill. They all sent a shock wave across Georgia and the country, but none of them managed to pull it off, ”said Perry. “I base my hope in the DOJ by taking a critical look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. As some contemplate a boycott, remember that we’ve made Georgia blue and there’s a gubernatorial race on the horizon – that’s the beauty of a democracy. “
Pressure from Georgian authorities to revise the rules on postal voting, access to polling stations and tightening identity requirements is part of a wider national campaign in many GOP-dominated states to respond to former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about widespread voter fraud. which cost him the 2020 presidential election – allegations that were dismissed last year by dozens of judges going all the way to the Supreme Court.
Other Hollywood actors, like director James Mangold and actor Mark Hamill, have vowed to boycott film and television production in Georgia as long as the new election law is in place.
Mangold, who directed “Logan” and “Ford v. Ferrari, ”said on Twitter:“ I will not be making a film in Georgia.
For Hollywood to abandon Georgia – which has offered generous tax incentives for television series like “Lovecraft Country” and hosted several Marvel films – would mean billions in lost production spending. Peach State faced similar threats in 2019 when Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill banning abortion at six weeks gestation. The law was later struck down by a federal judge, but not before major Hollywood studios, Netflix and others vowed to avoid the state in protest and out of concern for female employees.
Here is a sample of Hollywood’s reaction to Georgia’s new voting rights law:
I won’t be making a movie in Georgia.
– Mangold (@ mang0ld) March 26, 2021
Hamill then tweeted that he was okay with the boycott, writing: “Absolutely! #NoMoreFilmingInGeorgia.
ABSOLUTELY! ??#NoMoreFilmingInGeogia https://t.co/VsKLEkXhEf
– Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) March 27, 2021
However, others in Hollywood have countered that boycotting film production in the state would actually do more harm than good by putting many people out of work.
Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List, responded to Mangold’s tweet: “I am from Georgia, as is my family returning to literal slavery. While I understand the instinct, I hope you will reconsider and seek advice on the best way forward from those who have done the fieldwork there – black women in particular.
I am from Georgia, as is my family returning to literal slavery.
While I understand the instinct, I hope you will reconsider and seek advice on the best way forward from those who have done the fieldwork there – black women in particular.
– Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) March 27, 2021
The voting rights effort The New Georgia Project also asked Mangold to reconsider the boycott, tweeting, “So enjoy your passion; if you’re looking for effective ways to fight back that don’t double the damage to Georgians, we’d love to chat.
So enjoy your passion; if you’re looking for hard-hitting ways to fight back that don’t double the damage to Georgians, we’d love to chat.
– New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) March 26, 2021
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.
(Pictured: Tyler Perry)