Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has joined numerous other celebrities explaining his opposition against Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws but will not move his highly anticipated superhero sequel in alliance with the boycott.
In an essay for Deadline, Coogler announced that Black Panther II will film in Georgia.
“Our film is staying in Georgia,” Coogler writes. “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 some people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in this boycott of Georgia.”
The announcement follows shortly after Will Smith‘s upcoming movie Emancipation moved to another location. Although not moving his movie, Coogler vows that he will use his platform to make a difference.
“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.” he writes.
Later in the essay, the director breaks down the negative effects of Senate Bill 202. The new Senate Bill disproportionately restricts the voters of Black voters by enforcing stricter ID requirements, restricting early voting, banning mobile voting, criminalizing handing out water and snacks for voters waiting in line, limiting the number of drop boxes.
In response, the NAACP Georgia State Conference, along with numerous other organizations, are suing Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and member of the State Election Board, stating that “Georgias new voting law is designed to restrict the right of Georgia citizens to vote.” In the lawsuit, it states, “that SB202 is a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate based on race, and violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
“I have made a personal commitment to raise awareness about ways to help overturn this harmful bill, and continue to get educated on this matter from people on the ground,” Coogler writes. “I will encourage everyone working with me to tap in with the local community directly affected by Senate Bull 202 and to leverage their influence and resources to aid in the fight for this particular and essential pillar of democracy.”
You can read Ryan Coolger’s full essay for Deadline, here.