Will Smith's upcoming film 'Emancipation,' directed by Antoine Fuqua, will no longer be filming in Georgia due to the state's new voter law that many say will drastically affect Black voters.
'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,' Smith and Fuqua said together in a release regarding the change of location.
'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.'
The film is expected to relocate to Louisiana, which will reportedly cost the production about $15 million. The film is based on the true story of an enslaved person named Peter who escapes a plantation in the South, eventually becoming a soldier in the Union Army. While in a Union camp, photographs were taken showing the whipping scars covering the whole of Peter's back. Those photographs, including one known as as 'The Scourged Back,' were published in Harper's Weekly and showed many in the North the horrors and brutality of slavery.