Georgia’s restrictive new voting laws have been the talk of the political spectrum in recent weeks, as the state has lost plenty of business in the wake of passing of SB 202 in March. Ryan Coogler, who’s no stranger to the state, made it clear in a letter that he is vehemently against the bill, but also shared that he would not move Black Panther II‘s filming out of the state as a result.
Coogler shared a letter about the situation to a variety of sites, including Shadow and Act, in which the director laid out in detail the harmful impact the bill has on limiting voter access and the reinstitution of a modern-day poll tax. It’s a worthwhile read to see in granular detail the naked attempt to limit the democratic process after what occurred in Georgia in November and January, largely due to the efforts of minority voters.
“The fight for full enfranchisement is fundamental to the African-American struggle in this country and to this country’s claim to functioning democracy,” Coogler wrote. “As an African-American, and as a citizen, I oppose all attempts, explicit and otherwise, to shrink the electorate and reduce access to the ballot.”
The letter also contained some important, specific details about production on the sequel to Black Panther. Many institutions have protested the law’s passing by moving events out of Georgia, such as Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game. But Coogler said he and Marvel will not move Black Panther II‘s filming out of the state and will instead vow to fight the law’s passing through a variety of methods and advocacy while working in the state.
Our film [Black Panther II] is staying in Georgia. Additionally, 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. I will encourage everyone working with me to tap in with the local community directly affected by Senate Bill 202 and to leverage their influence and resources to aid in the fight for this particular and essential pillar of democracy.
I will also be donating to Fair Fight Action. You can do the same at www.stopjimcrow2.com.
Moving the film out of Georgia would have sent a huge shockwave through the entertainment industry and made Marvel and Disney the target of another round of cancel culture discourse from conservatives and right-wing media. So while that may have been a strong message to the state that its laws are extremely unwelcome, the message may have ultimately been muddled by the mediums it went out on. Still, Coogler makes it clear he and others working on the film are opposed to the legislation and its passing will not go unnoticed.