GEORGIA – After Gov. Brian Kemp signed Georgia’s new voting legislation into law, some in Hollywood are calling for a boycott of the state’s bustling film and TV industry.
“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill and “Ford v Ferrari” director James Mangold were among the first to announce they plan to avoid working in the state until something is done about the new law, which some, including President Joe Biden, say restricts voting access and eligibility in the state, which leaned in favor of the Democrats on the ticket in the 2020 general election.
The new law adds early voting access for most counties, adding an additional mandatory Saturday and codifying Sunday hours as optional, according to a report from Georgia Public Broadcasting. It also standardizes early voting hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or as long as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; makes it mandatory to present a state-issued ID when requesting an absentee ballot; limits the number of drop boxes in the state, requiring them to be placed at early voting locations and only available while the precinct is open; and prohibits handing out food and water within 150 feet of the polling place or 25 feet of any voter in line, although poll workers are exempted.
Mangold took to Twitter last week to declare that he will not direct a film in Georgia, adding in follow-up tweets that his reasoning has to do with the voting legislation.
“Georgia has been using cash to steal movie jobs from other states that allow people to vote. I don’t want to play there. I’m not telling anyone else what to do,” he wrote in part responding to someone questioning the wisdom behind a potential Hollywood boycott in Georgia.
In response to a tweet about Mangold’s statement, Hamill took to Twitter to note that he stands with the director.
However, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, calls to boycott the film industry in Georgia have been met with pleas to reconsider the impact it would have on the crew and stars who work there.
Actor Steve Coulter, who appeared on shows like “P Valley” and “Yellowstone” urged Mangold to rethink his stance.
“James … we here in GA fought like hell the last 4 years to turn it blue. 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 and operates one of the largest TV and film studios in the state, issued a statement noting that Georgia was recently turned blue in the last election, therefore he thinks bailing on the state in its time of need is not the right move.
“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,” he wrote in part.
This is not the first time that controversial legislation has led stars to consider boycotting the state’s entertainment industry. Recent legislation having to do with abortions and the LGBTQ community elicited similar outrage among the Hollywood community.