Filmmakers and TV productions have been responding to Georiga's controversial proposed voting laws from SB202 with reactions ranging from boycotting the state to encouraging protesters to speak up about the bill's ramifications — but Marvel Studios is still planning to film Black Panther 2 in the area. To that affect, director Ryan Coogler has spoken out about the decision to continue production in the state of George while making the sequel to Black Panther, despite mounting political pressure from progressives who want to enact a boycott in the state. In an op-ed for the site Deadline, Coogler speaks out about his reasoning to keep Marvel and Disney's film in Georgia.
Coogler made it clear that because most of the people employed on his production will feel the effects of the controversial voting laws the most, he's decided to keep filming Black Panther 2 in order to help them.
"I say this as I return to Georgia, a state that holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Atlanta for eight months while filming my last movie," wrote Coogler. "I have long looked forward to returning. But, when I was informed of the passage of SB202 in the state, and its ramifications for the state's voters, I was profoundly disappointed."
Added Coogler, "While I wished to turn my concern into action, I could not do so without first being educated on the specifics of Georgia. Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, 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 same people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia. 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."
After denouncing the restricting effects of SB202 in the state of Georgia and calling on the Senate to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act, Coogler went on to commit to making change. He called on movement for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
"Our film 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."
He also called on supporters to donate to the Fair Fight Action.
Black Panther 2 is currently set to be released in theaters on July 8, 2022.