A major Canadian film industry executive is calling on Hollywood to blacklist Georgia over the state’s new voter integrity law, claiming it is a matter of “morality” and not a business maneuver to lure movie and TV productions away from the Peach State.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the executive, Paul Bronfman, CEO of Comweb Corp. and chair of Pinewood Toronto Studios, said Hollywood has a moral duty to protest against Georgia.
“It’s not that Atlanta is a direct competitor to Canada. There’s a bigger point here,” Bronfman told the trade journal.
“It’s morality and the right of people to exercise their democratic vote. And what’s going on in Georgia, and spreading, is anti-democratic and it’s anti-everything we stand for. So I would be very disappointed if the major studios continue to go to Atlanta and try to hide under the table. That state should be blacklisted.”
The Reporter claimed without evidence that Georgia’s new law “targets the state’s Black populations.”
Georgia competes with Canada for Hollywood productions, offering lucrative financial incentives that reached $890 million in 2019. The incentives have turned the state into a major production hub for movies and TV shows, employing thousands of blue-collar crew workers.
But the passage of Georgia’s voter integrity law has ignited a pressure campaign by celebrities who have described the legislation as “racist” and a form of “voter suppression.” ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount Pictures and CBS, has also denounced the law.
On Monday, Will Smith announced that his upcoming slavery drama Emancipation is withdrawing from Georgia, the first major Hollywood production to boycott the state.
“It’s a force play, because talent are now becoming very moral and are rightfully able to stand up and sway production elsewhere,” Alex Godfrey, vice president of studios at William F. White International, a Canadian studio operator and production equipment rental company, told the Reporter.
In 2019, Hollywood studios and celebrities turned against Georgia over the state’s fetal heartbeat legislation on abortion. But the studios never made good on their threat to pull productions from the state.