The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is voicing support for "the sacred right to vote" in a statement released after the passage of a Georgia bill that has been widely denounced by U.S. business leaders who say it limits access to ballots.
In a statement, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and the union's national executive director, David White, do not explicitly denounce the voting legislation passed in Georgia. Instead, they say “SAG-AFTRA opposes any effort to suppress the constitutional rights of Americans, including our members."
"It is clear that there is plenty of work to do to make our communities more fair, equitable, and safe. This includes protecting the sacred right to vote. The more voices and perspectives we see at the ballot box, the stronger our democracy and our people will be,” Carteris and White said.
“We encourage SAG-AFTRA members everywhere to make themselves heard, stand up against injustices, and support laws designed to level the playing field,” they added.
This statement comes just one day after the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night.
The film and television industry in the Peach State brings in billions of dollars every year. Major productions with massive fanbases such as "The Walking Dead" and Marvel films "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther" were made in Georgia. More major films were made in Georgia than in California in 2016, Time magazine notes.
Actor Mark Hamill and film director James Mangold have both called for boycotts of projects in Georgia due to the voting law.
"I will not direct a film in Georgia," Mangold said last week on Twitter.
I will not direct a film in Georgia.— Mangold (@mang0ld) March 26, 2021
Several people, including those who are against the GOP-led Georgia voting laws, have spoken out against calls to boycott Georgia.
Steve Coulier, an actor on "The Walking Dead," appealed to Mangold, for example.
"James...we here in GA fought like hell the last 4 years to turn it blue. We gave you two Dem Senators. Your boycott only hurts us, the thousands of rank & film actors & crew," Coulier tweeted. "Think before you cancel. Please. We’ve worked too hard."
James...we here in GA fought like hell the last 4 years to turn it blue. We gave you two Dem Senators. Your boycott only hurts us, the thousands of rank & film actors & crew. Think before you cancel. Please. We’ve worked too hard.— Steve Coulter (@coulter28) March 26, 2021