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Left: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Right: Actor and producer Will Smith. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg and Paras Griffin via Getty Images

Actor Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua said Monday they are moving their upcoming film production, "Emancipation," out of Georgia in response to the state's new voting restrictions.

Why it matters: The passage of the law has spurred outrage across the U.S., with activists calling it a move to disenfranchise Black voters. Backed by Apple Studios, the slavery-era film is the first major production to leave the state due to the voting law, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying: "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 in a joint statement.

  • "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," they added. "Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state."

The big picture: Georgia has been central to major studios like Marvel and Netflix in the last few years, offering generous tax incentives to Hollywood productions.

  • It's unclear if the move will prompt other film productions to leave the state.
  • A coalition of major corporate players, many of them based in Georgia, have expressed concerns about the new law.

Go deeper: CEOs plot next moves against restrictive voting laws after Zoom summit

Go deeper

100+ corporate executives consider freezing donations over laws curbing voting access

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More than 100 corporate executives and leaders gathered on a Zoom call Saturday to discuss ways to combat controversial voting bills being considered in states across the country that would restrict voting access, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: American corporations flexed their advocacy muscles earlier this month when more than 100 companies signaled their opposition to Georgia's new voting law, inciting the wrath of GOP leaders, including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Apr 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

CEOs plot next moves against restrictive voting laws after Zoom summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Top CEOs plan to get dramatically tougher on state legislators over proposed new restrictions on voting.

Driving the news: After a weekend Zoom summit, the CEOs are threatening to withhold campaign contributions — and to punish states by yanking investments in factories, stadiums and other lucrative projects.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutor to seek hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta shootings

In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

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