Days after directors James Mangold and Antoine Fuqua announced they were moving their respective projects out of Atlanta in protest of a controversial voting law, Ryan Coogler says he and Black Panther 2 are staying put.
Mangold was to have directed the fifth Indiana Jones movie in Atlanta, and Fuqua was to call the shots on the Will Smith slavery-themed drama Emancipation.
Coogler’s decision does not mean the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker isn’t angry about the measure, however.
In a message posted to the website Shadow and Act, Coogler noted in part, “The fight for full enfranchisement is fundamental to the African-American struggle in this country… . As an African-American, and as a citizen, I oppose all attempts, explicit and otherwise, to…reduce access to the ballot.”
That said, Coogler noted, “…I have come to understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of [the measure] SB202.”
He added, “For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. What I will be doing is using my voice to emphasize the effects of SB202, its shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”
Coogler’s concern for the hundreds of Georgians who would be put of of work if productions pull away from what has become a major filmmaking hub has been echoed by others, including Dr. Bernice King, who recently tweeted that #BoycottGeorgia “would hurt middle class workers and people grappling with poverty…And…increase the harm of both racism and classism.”
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