New Jersey Lobbying To Gain Georgia's Film Business After Studio Boycotts
New Jersey's governor has reached out to film studios to tout tax incentives hoping to tempt film studios to the Garden State.
New Jersey is lobbying to become a new major east coast filming location, after several studios opted to boycott Georgia due to new laws that critics say amounts to voter suppression. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has reached out to major studios looking to make Georgia's loss into the Garden State's gain.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy wrote to Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. touting New Jersey's film-friendly tax incentives and criticizing Georgia for its strict voter laws. He noted that New Jersey has a 30% tax credit on films, comparable to Georgia's incentives, and a 40% subsidy for studio development inside the state. He also signaled solidarity with the studios over the cause for their boycott in the first place, that being the strict voting restrictions recently passed by the state.
"I’ve watched the recent decisions coming from the Georgia State House with disappointment," Murphy wrote. "Restricting the right to vote is more than just wrong, it’s un-American. These voting restrictions have thrust Georgia into the national spotlight, with the vast majority seeing the State’s decision as an attack on people of color by a Governor and Legislature willing to do anything to stay in power."
The new law in Georgia has been criticized as too restrictive, as it limits ballot drop boxes, sets new requirements for absentee voting, and makes it illegal to give food or water to voters who are in line. Georgia governor Brian Kemp has defended the law, firing back at New Jersey that even after the new restrictions, it has much more time for early voting. New Jersey has nine days of early voting compared to Georgia's 17.
Film and TV studios have criticized the new law. Some actors and directors have suggested boycotts, though some like voting rights activist Stacey Abrams have cautioned against boycotts and said they'll just hurt vulnerable groups.
Director Tyler Perry, who has a studio in Atlanta, said he hopes the Department of Justice will take "a hard look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law that harkens to the Jim Crow era."
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