“We urge you to reconsider your support for this misguided law and make every effort to lift its restrictions before it takes full effect on July 1st,” wrote the directors’ guild leaders.
As Hollywood continues its condemnation of Georgia’s new electoral law, the Directors Guild of America has sparked one of its strongest criticisms yet.
Guild President Thomas Schlamme and National Executive Director Russell Hollander sent a letter directly to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, stating that the bill “threatens to undermine the pillar of our democracy.” They denounced the bill “reviving discredited practices designed to suppress the voices of blacks and other people of color that were so prevalent in the days leading up to the landmark suffrage law.”
Schlamme and Hollander note that the DGA has long been a supporter of the Georgian entertainment industry, helping create nearly 45,000 jobs and wages in excess of $ 3.64 billion. “However, as the leading voice representing creative workers in the industry, we are forced to denounce SB 202, which disenfranchises our members and disproportionately affects our members of color as well as millions of other hardworking Georgians,” they wrote.
The law, signed by Kemp on March 25, introduces tougher voter restrictions such as identification requirements for postal voting, limits the number of ballot boxes and makes it illegal to give food and water to voters in line. It was widely criticized by constituencies and Democrats, and President Biden called it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century”.
Other Hollywood studios and guilds, including ViacomCBS, SAG-AFTRA, and the WGA, have noted their opposition to the law. Tyler Perry, who runs a studio in Atlanta, said he was resting his hopes “that the DOJ will scrutinize this unconstitutional electoral suppression act reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.”
James Mangold, director of Ford v Ferrari, said he wouldn’t make another movie in the state, and Star Wars actor Mark Hamill was in favor of pulling the business out of Georgia. However, the boycott of the state remains the subject of much debate and local leaders like Stacey Abrams have warned against it. Last week, Major League Baseball pulled its all-star game from Georgia in response to the bill.
Read the DGA’s full letter to Governor Kemp, which Deadline was the first to report, here:
Dear Governor Kemp:
We write to break the law on behalf of the 18,000+ Directors Guild of America (DGA) members, including more than 400 Georgia based and hundreds more who choose Georgia as the location for their film and television projects to suppress voters Senate Bill 202, which threatens to undermine the pillar of our democracy – the right to vote. President Biden has described the law as both an “atrocity” and a modern version of Jim Crow.
The DGA is a labor organization that represents the creative and commercial rights of directors and directors working in the fields of film, television, advertising, documentaries, news, sports and new media. The DGA has long been a supporter of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which in recent years has increased film and television production in the state and fueled economic activity that created 44,070 jobs and wages of more than $ 3.64 billion. Dollar supports. However, as the leading voice representing creatives in the industry, we are forced to denounce SB 202, which disenfranchises our members and disproportionately affects our members of color as well as millions of other hardworking Georgians.
Our jobs include long hours (often 12 hours or more per day) and frequent weekend work. They take us to sound stages and locations across districts and across international borders, with assignments that can take up to a year or more. Due to our busy working hours, our members have to fall back on early and absent votes. And they are particularly at risk from the new law’s restrictions on ballot boxes, early voting in runoffs and postal votes.
We strongly oppose the idea that it is compatible with America’s democratic values to make it difficult to vote. SB 202 enlivens discredited practices designed to suppress the voices of blacks and other people of color that were so common in the days before the landmark suffrage law, such as indefinitely contesting voter registration – a notorious tactic used for racial profiling and intimidation the color picker.
SB 202 will significantly suppress the vote in Georgia. For example, in the racially diverse metropolitan area of Atlanta, where many of our color members live, the number of registered voters far exceeds the availability of polling stations. In nine counties of the Atlanta area with large black populations (Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, DeKalb, Cobb, Hall, Cherokee, Henry and Clayton), which represented nearly half of Georgia’s active voters but only 38% of those polled sets the voting lines particularly long. Making too few polling stations available and then restricting early and absent votes is a decision to encumber the right to vote – a burden that disproportionately affects the black voters of Georgia and other color voters.
Our members, like other working people in the labor movement, have a voice at work through the DGA. But we must also have a voice in our government through the right to vote. We stand in solidarity with the other unions, companies and individuals who have spoken out in protest against SB 202. We support the fight for free and fair elections in Georgia and elsewhere.
We urge you to reconsider your support for this misguided law and make every effort to lift its restrictions before it goes into effect on July 1st.
With best regards,
Thomas Schlamme and Russell Hollander
President and National Executive Director of the Directors Guild of America