Good work, Will Smith.
You were upset over Georgia’s new voting law because it allegedly disenfranchised black voters. You apparently hadn’t read it, but that’s the same thing with most people who are against it.
Unlike most of them, you had the ability to kill some jobs over the bill — and you did it.
See, you’re filming “Emancipation,” directed by Antoine Fuqua, in the state. Georgia provides generous tax breaks to movie productions, which is why the movie was there in the first place.
Now, you’re moving it out of the state. Will it hurt Georgia Republicans? No. Will it hurt the black residents of a state that just flipped blue in the last election? Yes — and that’s something pretty much every Democrat in Georgia and even some outside of it have woken up to.
But you, “in good conscience,” couldn’t keep your production there, due to what you called a Reconstruction-era law.
“At this moment in time, the Nation is coming to terms with its history and is attempting to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice,” you said in a statement to a number of media outlets, including Deadline.
“We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,” the statement continued.
“The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting. Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.”
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Just for the rest of us who need to catch up on the film we’re talking about here: Will Smith’s “Emancipation,” described by NBC News as a “big-budget, runaway slave thriller,” will instead be filmed in Louisiana.
That move will cost the filmmakers $15 million — thanks to not only the logistical costs but also the loss of tax breaks.
“Smith will play Peter, a slave who fled a plantation in Louisiana after he was whipped within an inch of his life. He had to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a torturous journey north. There, he joined the Union Army,” Deadline reported.
“The thriller is based on his true story, seared into the annals of history by an indelible image; when Peter showed his bare back during an Army medical examination, photos were taken of the scars from a whipping delivered by an overseer on the plantation owned by John and Bridget Lyons that nearly killed him.
“When the photo — which came to be known as ‘The Scourged Back’ — was published by The Independent in May 1863 and then in the Harper’s Weekly July 4 issue, it became indisputable proof of the cruelty and barbarity of slavery in America. The photo reached around the world. It solidified the cause of abolitionists and prompted many free Blacks to join the Union Army.”
The photographer, Dario Calmese, wanted to recreate “The Scourged Back” (1863)https://t.co/jtXumlYESf
— jessica testa (@jtes) July 14, 2020
So, what are you really protesting by leaving Georgia, Mr. Smith?
Well, you’re protesting a ballot measure that requires an ID to vote via absentee ballot. But, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out, this doesn’t disenfranchise anyone, given that 97 percent of Georgians have ID already.
Oh yeah, and it also expands early voting hours and the number of days available for it. It also stops food from being passed out in line — mostly because Democrats were abusing the tactic for years.
This is what you’re likening to legislation “passed at the end of Reconstruction” to stop black people from voting. And who is it hurting? The people of Georgia, who are the very people who you purport to help.
That’s because Georgia is one of the states with the highest percentage of black residents in the nation — 31.9 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The only states with more black individuals per capita than Georgia are Mississippi and Louisiana. This is part of the reason why activist Democrats — including the patron state of Georgia liberaldom, failed House candidate Stacey Abrams — are saying politicians shouldn’t boycott the state.
Here’s what she had to say after Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game for this year out of Atlanta earlier this month:
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 2, 2021
“I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; however I commend the players, owners and League commissioner for speaking out,” Abrams said in a statement. “I urge others in positions of leadership to do so as well.
“As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs. Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states. We should not abandon the victims of GOP malice and lies — we must stand together.”
This law isn’t a Reconstruction-era act that oppresses voters, either. The most disenfranchising thing in the entire bill, according to Democrats, is that it asks for voter ID.
And you know where else asks for voter ID, too, according to WWL-TV? Louisiana.
In other words, you’ve taken hands out of the black residents of Georgia all because the media is beating them up for not being woke enough. Again: Good work, Mr. Smith.
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