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Will Smith withdraws 'Emancipation' filming from Georgia over voting law

"Emancipation" director Antoine Fuqua (left) and star/producer Will Smith (right)

Apple TV+ movie "Emancipation" will no longer be filmed in Georgia as producer and star Will Smith plus director Antoine Fuqua protest against the state's new and more restrictive voting law.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously spoken out against Georgia's new law limiting access to voting, and now an Apple TV+ production is withdrawing from the state. "Emancipation," which Apple reportedly bought for $100 million, is now looking for an alternative state to film in.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is the first major production to leave the state because of this new 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," star/producer Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua said in a joint statement.

"We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access," they 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," they concluded.

"Emancipation" is to star Will Smith as a runaway slave "on a tortuous journey North where he joined the Union Army." Written by William N. Collage, the film is based on a true story. Production had been due to start filming in June.

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