James Mangold and Mark Hamill have said they want to boycott the state in the wake of its new election restrictions – but others say this is not the best way to protest.
Georgia faces calls for a possible boycott of Hollywood, this time over a controversial new electoral law signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp on March 25th.
The new electoral law, which introduces stricter 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, has generated widespread criticism from constituencies and constituencies. 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 industry metrics have even called for a boycott of the state, a movement that has increased and decreased over the years as other controversial laws primarily concerned with abortion and LGBTQ rights have come and gone. The impact of a boycott could be significant, however, as Hollywood regularly shoots TV shows and movies in the state and has helped build Georgia’s robust film business onto the nearly $ 10 billion industry.
Among those in Hollywood who talk the most about a boycott is Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold, who tweeted that he would not make a future movie in Georgia due to the new law. (Ford versus Ferrari shot some in Georgia.) “Georgia used cash to steal film jobs from other states where people can vote. I don’t want to act there,” wrote the director who is making the upcoming Indiana Jones movie . “The state will be irrevocably red with these new ‘laws’.”
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 he would not design a film in Georgia as part of the new election restrictions.
But as calls for a boycott grow, stop the movement before it gets more steam. “Please end 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 of 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’ve been fighting like hell here in GA for the past 4 years to get it blue We gave you two Senators. Your boycott only hurts us, the thousands of film and film actors. Think before you cancel. Please. We worked too hard. “
A local production insider from Georgia says the call for a boycott is much weaker this time. “It seems like it was a lot louder a few years ago and the ball got rolling a little faster,” says the source, who acknowledges that the cast and crew who have been unemployed for so long during the pandemic may be part of the reason other stars and studios could not jump into the boycott train right away.
This person also notes that the local film community is more willing to fight back against those pushing for 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 home to Tyler Perry Studios, the only black-owned studio in the country.
For his part, Abrams has condemned the legislation as a “law to suppress voters against black and brown voters,” but has not yet weighed the call for a boycott. However, she has advised against it in the past. Amid anti-abortion legislation in 2019, she wrote a statement for the Los Angeles Times saying that while she respects calls for a boycott of the state, “I don’t think this is the most effective strategic choice for change” said she was writing at the time.
Newly elected Senator Raphael Warnock sharply criticized the new election 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 have 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.”
The call for a boycott goes beyond Hollywood. Civil rights groups have been pushing for the Masters tournament and Major League Baseball All-Star game to find new locations. According to The Boston Globe, the Major League Baseball players’ union leader said he was “looking forward” to discussing a possible move of the All-Star game out of Atlanta. Georgia-based companies Coca-Cola and Delta have also come under fire for their stance on the bill.
A similar movement grew in Hollywood two years ago in response to Georgia’s “heartbeat” termination bill, which a federal judge ruled unconstitutional last year, and a year earlier for adoption legislation against LGBTQ that former Governor Nathan Deal a Vetoed.