Friday, October 22, 2021

Dwayne Johnson on Filming ‘Black Adam’ in Georgia Amid Voting Law Controversy

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Dwayne Johnson / Getty

*Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is speaking out about his decision to not pull his upcoming superhero movie “Black Adam” out of Georgia after the state passed controversial new voting laws.

Speaking to THR, Johnson noted that “Black Adam” was beginning production amid the conversation about Black Georgians voting rights, and his crew was already “committed” to the state at the time. 

“You start to feel pressure from a lot of different sides that you should stand up for something and you should leave if you don’t agree with the voting laws,” Johnson said. “I was adamant and clear that ‘Black Adam’ was not going anywhere. We had committed to the state of Georgia and to the people here in Georgia. And this is a place that we had filmed multiple movies over the years. And when you commit to our hardworking locals and their families, the last thing you want to do is just pick up and move. So we weren’t going anywhere. We [the film’s producers] had the conversation. It was heated for about a week.”

READ MORE: Dwayne Johnson Laughs Off Vin Diesel’s ‘Fast & Furious’ Diss

Hollywood was split over the passage of voting law SB 202 in March, which led power players in the industry to question their relationship in the state, while also leveraging their power to bring attention to what’s at stake for voters. 

An earlier report noted that Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation” chose to leave the state for their production, saying “we cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.”

But “Black Panther 2” director Ryan Coogler chose to remain, and he wrote a letter explaining the decision.

“The fight for full enfranchisement is fundamental to the African-American struggle in this country and to this country’s claim to functioning democracy. 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. 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. 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,” the letter states. 

“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, it’s shameful roots in Jim Crow, and doing all I can to support organizations fighting voter suppression here in the state.”

Meanwhile, Johnson’s “Black Adam,” which he also directed, opens in theaters on July 29, 2022.

You can next catch him in “Jungle Cruise,” arriving in theaters on July 30.

Check out The Rock’s full interview with THR here.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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