Why Hollywood Condemned Georgia’s New Voting Law
By Movieguide® Staff
Hollywood and others in the entertainment industry are pushing back against Georgia’s new voting bill.
In recent years, Hollywood has not shied away from the opportunity to boost a progressive agenda in their movies. In Georgia, which is known as a critical contributor in movies from minorities, Hollywood has put their foot down in a tangible way.
Actors, filmmakers, and entertainment executives signed a letter that condemned Georgia’s new voting restrictions.
According to Variety, the letter included signatures from Netflix, Amazon, ViacomCBS, Starbucks, Facebook, and UTA. Moreover, celebrities such as Rooney Mara, George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo, Larry David, Josh Gad, Lee Daniels, George Lucas, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leonardo Dicaprio, Demi Lovato, Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson, Orlando Bloom, and Naomi Campbell also signed the document.
“For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us,” the statement reads. “Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy, and we call upon all Americans to take a nonpartisan stand for this basic and most fundamental right of all Americans.”
Variety reported: “Georgia has become a major production hub for Hollywood, with film and television project flocking to the Peach State, lured by generous tax incentives. On Monday, one of those projects, ‘Emancipation,’ a thriller about an escaped slave that will star Will Smith and will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, announced it will not shoot in Georgia because of the new voting rules.”
While the outrage from Hollywood aligns with the narrative that Georgia’s new law acts as a “revenge” scheme from angry Republicans, others contend that the law is rational.
But what is actually in the bill?
The election law changes how the state verifies the identity of voters who request and cast absentee ballots. According to Fox News, the significant change includes the elimination of signature-matching—which is a more subjective process—as the method of confirming absentee voters’ identities.
Now, voters are required to provide their driver’s license number or a state ID number if they have it.
“The new election bill in Georgia is not about showing ID to vote,” Atlantic writer Jemele Hill wrote. “Republicans are salty the state went blue, and they resent that their power was taken away by black voters. They want a rigged game because they’re too lazy to come up with a new vision and compete for votes.”
The new election bill in Georgia is not about showing ID to vote. Republicans are salty the state went blue, and they resent that their power was taken away by black voters. They want a rigged game because they’re too lazy to come up with a new vision and compete for votes.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 2, 2021
“Georgia’s new law imposes a new ID requirement to return an absentee ballot. There is no reason to do this other than Trump’s lies,” writer Judd Legum added.
“Previously, Georgia law required voters to simply sign their absentee ballot applications. Now they will have to provide the number from a driver’s license or an equivalent state-issued identification,” The New York Times wrote. “This is virtually certain to limit access to absentee voting.”
However, those that back the new law suggest that it is not as restrictive as the mainstream media, and now Hollywood, might lead you to believe. State officials say that there are other options that are provided to voters who do not have a photo ID.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office claims that voters can verify their ballots with the last four digits of their social security number; a utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck, or another government document with their name and address on it.
Absentee ballot requests also can be digitally submitted. The ample options help ensure that voters will not be forced to pay extra for copying services.
Fox News reported: “Raffensperger’s office noted that Georgians needed a photo ID to register to vote before this new law and will continue to need one after it is passed. The difference is simply limited to what is required when requesting and casting absentee ballots.”
“And I think it’s going to be a big help and it’s in no way going to alienate or disallow someone from the opportunity to vote because most people have these IDs,” Georgia Gov. Kemp said. “If they don’t, we’ll give them one for free. And even if you don’t have that, there’s provisions in the bill where you can still get an absentee ballot by submitting other documents that are listed out in the legislation.”
Raffensperger added: “There’s no rational argument against requiring state ID – provided for free to those who don’t have a driver’s license – for absentee ballots. I implemented our first version of that last year; every absentee ballot request that came in through the state website was cross-referenced with the driver’s license database and other records.
“The left said that photo ID for in-person voting would suppress votes. It didn’t. Registration and turnout soared, hitting new records with each election cycle. Their cataclysmic predictions about the effects of this law are simply baseless. The next election will prove that, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the left and the media to admit they were wrong.”