Mark Hamill, James Mangold call for Georgia filming boycott in response to new election laws
After a controversial voting bill was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia, some prominent names in Hollywood are calling for a boycott of film and television production in the state.
The new election law, which was signed on March 25, brings more rigid voter restrictions including ID requirements for absentee voting, a limit on the number of ballot drop boxes, and it prohibits supplying food and water to anyone within 150 feet of the polling place or 25 feet of any voter in line. It also shortens runoff reelections from nine to four weeks. The bill has been denounced by Democrats and voting rights groups, with President Biden even calling it "Jim Crow in the 21st Century."
In response to the news of the law's passing, some Hollywood heavyweights are calling for a production boycott in the Peach State. In recent years, Georgia has become a hub for film and television production, helping to grow the state's film industry into a nearly $10 billion industry.
The day the bill was passed, Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold tweeted he would not be making any movies in Georgia. "Georgia has been using cash to steal movie jobs from other states that allow people to vote," he added. "I don't want to play there."
However, while many jumped on the boycott bandwagon, not everyone agreed with the movement. "Please stop the #BoycottGeorgia talk," Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice King tweeted. "That would hurt middle class workers and people grappling with poverty. And it would increase the harm of both racism and classism."
P Valley and Yellowstone actor Steve Coulter chimed in to ask Mangold to rethink his boycott decision. "James … we here in GA fought like hell the last 4 years to turn it blue," he wrote on Twitter. "We gave you two Dem Senators. Your boycott only hurts us, the thousands of rank & film actors & crew. Think before you cancel. Please. We've worked too hard."
Tyler Perry, who owns a film and television studio in Atlanta, also addressed the issue in a statement. "I'm resting my hope in the DOJ taking a hard look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law that harkens to the Jim Crow era," he said. "As some consider boycotting, please remember that we did turn Georgia blue and there is a gubernatorial race on the horizon — that's the beauty of a democracy."
This isn't the first time there's been a call for to boycott Georgia production. Hollywood responded similarly back in 2019 to Georgia's controversial "heartbeat" abortion law and a year before that, rose up against anti-LGBTQ adoption legislation.