Will Hollywood Boycott Georgia Over New Electoral Regulation?  – The Hollywood Reporter

Georgia faces calls for a potential boycott from Hollywood, this time over a controversial new voting bill signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp on March 25th.

The new electoral law – which introduces stricter voter restrictions such as postal voting ID, limits the number of ballot boxes, and makes it illegal to give voters food and water in line – has received widespread criticism from franchise groups and Democrats. President Biden called it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” while Stacey Abrams called it “a reminder of Georgia’s dark past”.

It has also been denounced by many in Hollywood. Some of these outspoken figures in the industry have even called for a boycott of the state, a movement that has grown and decreased over the years as other controversial laws primarily related to abortion and LGBTQ rights have come and gone. The impact of a boycott could be significant, however, as Hollywood regularly makes TV shows and movies in the state and has helped bring Georgia’s robust film business to the nearly $ 10 billion industry that it is.

Among those in Hollywood who are talking the loudest about a boycott is Ford versus Ferrari director James Mangold, who tweeted that he would not make a future movie in Georgia due to the new law. (Ford v Ferrari shot some in Georgia.) “Georgia used cash to steal film jobs from other states that allow people to vote. I don’t want to act there, ”wrote the director who is making the upcoming Indiana Jones film. “With these new ‘laws’ the state will turn irretrievably red.”

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill backed Mangold’s call to action by posting a tweet with the hashtag #NoMoreFilminginGeorgia. Production designer François Audouy, who has worked with Mangold on several films, also said that he would not design a film in Georgia due to the new election restrictions.

But as calls for boycotts increase, so do requests to stop the movement before it gains traction. “Please stop the #BoycottGeorgia conversation,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King, on Twitter. “That would harm middle class workers and people struggling with poverty. And it would increase the damage done by racism and classism. “

Georgia-based actor Steve Coulter, who has appeared on shows like P Valley and Yellowstone, asked Mangold to think twice before the boycott: “James … we here in GA have been fighting like hell for the last 4 years to make it blue . We gave you two dem senators. Your boycott only hurts us, the thousands of star and film actors and crew. Think before you quit. Please. We worked too hard. “

A local Georgia production insider says he feels the calls for boycotts are much weaker this time around. “It seems like it was a lot louder a few years ago and the ball got rolling a little faster,” says the source, who admits that the cast and crew have been out of work for so long amid the pandemic could be part of the other reason Stars and studios don’t jump into the boycott train right away.

This person also notes that the local film community is more willing to fight back against those looking to pull out of business as this isn’t their first rodeo. “There are better and more effective ways to protest,” adds the source. Others are quick to point out that Georgia is the only black-owned studio in the country, Tyler Perry Studios.

For its part, Abrams has condemned the legislation as an “election suppression law aimed at black and brown voters,” but has yet to address calls for boycotts. However, she has advised against it in the past. In the midst of anti-abortion legislation in 2019, she wrote a comment for the Los Angeles Times saying that while she respects calls to boycott the state, “I don’t think this is the most effective or strategic choice for change” , she wrote then.

Newly-elected Senator Raphael Warnock sharply criticized the new electoral restrictions – but when asked by CNN’s Dana Bash whether boycotts should be on the table, he didn’t give a resounding yes or no. “I think we all need to use our voices,” he said vaguely. “We’ll see how this all plays out, but I’m focusing on what we can do in the United States Senate.”

Calls for boycotts also go beyond Hollywood. Civil rights groups have urged the Masters tournament and Major League Baseball All-Star game to find new locations while the law is being passed. According to The Boston Globe, the Major League Baseball players’ union chief said he would look forward to discussing a possible rescheduling of the Atlanta All-Star game. Georgia-based corporations Coca-Cola and Delta have also come under fire for their stance on the law.

A similar movement sprang up in Hollywood two years ago in response to Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion law, which a federal judge ruled unconstitutional last year, and a year earlier for anti-LGBTQ adoption laws, which former Governor Nathan Deal opposed Vetoed.