Oscar-nominated director James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) kicked off the pushback Thursday, just hours after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 voting banning voters other than an election worker who Stand in line to provide free food or drink and extend the early voting by four days. Law critics say the requirements will make it difficult for minority voters to cast their ballots.
Mangold, who is set to direct the latest Indiana Jones movie, announced on Twitter that he would not be shooting any future projects in the state. “Georgia used cash to steal movie jobs from other states where people can vote,” he tweeted. “I don’t want to play there.”
Other entertainment professionals picked up Mangold’s call, including Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, whose career has been revived in recent years thanks to Disney’s successful franchise relaunch. Hamill signaled his approval of the hashtag #NoMoreFilmingInGeorgia.
Some Hollywood insiders spoke out against an industry boycott, claiming it would hurt the people who brought the Democrats to Senate wins earlier this year. “While I understand instinct, I hope you will reconsider and seek advice on how those who have worked there – black women in particular – can best find the way forward,” replied black producer Franklin Leonard Mangold. Rod Lurie, director of films such as The Outpost, said that such a decision, while understanding his colleague’s sentiments, “has denied work to many people who are our allies (on this matter).”
Some conservatives pointed to Hollywood’s hypocrisy in avoiding the state.
“They filmed Star Wars in Tunisia, where the government pulls men off the streets for looking gay, forcibly sodomizing them and throwing them in jail,” replied Joshua Herr, General Counsel of The Daily Wire, who is a filmmaker Hamill. And the conservative writer, director and actor Nick Searcy (Justified, Gosnell) retweeted British actor Matthew Marsden: “Typical selfishness. An actor calling for a boycott has no real impact on the actor … but all the bottom line people who rely on productions to support their families. “
Other entertainment sectors could join Tinseltown to put pressure on the state.
Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, told The Boston Globe that the players are “very aware” of the Election Integrity Act and are open to talks about relocating the All-Star game to another state in July be. Sports journalists from CNN, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post have all called for Atlanta to lose the exhibition.
The PGA Tour is also seeing a flurry of demands punishing Georgia by moving the Masters tournament out of its traditional home, Augusta National Golf Club. National Black Justice Coalition executive director David J. Johns told Golfweek he expected PGA Tour and Masters officials to speak out and take action against the law. The group is asking professional golfers to refuse to play in the state.
Recent history shows that boycotts in the entertainment industry can lead states to reverse the course of legislation. North Carolina lost a number of concerts and games in 2016-2017, including the NBA All-Star Game, after a bill was passed requiring individuals to use public bathrooms that matched their biological sex when the bathrooms were more occupied. This law was later repealed.