Numerous Hollywood actors and directors joined hundreds of businesses and CEOs from corporate America in signing an open letter Wednesday condemning Georgia’s laws that restrict and limit voting rights.
The letter was published in the New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers as an ad with the title “We Stand For Democracy.”
Among the Hollywood signatories on the Georgia letter were major companies like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, ViacomCBS, Live Nation Entertainment, UTA, and many more, as well as celebrities like J.J. Abrams, George Clooney, Katy Perry, George Lucas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lin-Manuel Miranda and countless others. They were joined by Warren Buffet, Google’s parent company Alphabet, former executives of American Express and Home Depot and more.
“Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy and we call upon all Americans to join us in taking a nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans,” the letter reads.
Some of the companies not included on the letter were Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, two of the companies that initially opposed the voting laws, and some executives signed the letter while the companies themselves did not. Executives last weekend had gathered as part of a Zoom call to discuss what other actions corporate America could take against restrictive voting laws in general.
The move also comes as Hollywood productions like the Will Smith film at Apple “Emancipation” pulled filming from the state, but also as politicians like Stacey Abrams have cautioned Hollywood on leading a boycott of the state that could harm the people the voting laws target. MLB had also made the decision to move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Back in March, Georgia’s legislature and GOP governor Brian Kemp passed into law a 100-page bill that will make sweeping changes to Georgia election law, including certain provisions that will require driver’s licenses or state ID, new restrictions on ballot drop boxes and even a rule that it would be illegal to give people waiting in line to vote food or beverages in a practice described as “line warming.”
Here’s the full text of the letter:
We Stand for Democracy. A Government of the people, by the people. A beautifully American ideal, but a reality denied to many from this nation’s history. As Americans, we know that in our democracy we should not expect to agree on everything. However, regardless of our political affiliations, we believe the very foundation of our electoral process rests upon the ability of each of us to cast our ballots for the candidates of our choice. For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us. We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose and discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot. Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy and we call upon all Americans to join us in taking a nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans.
View the ad via Twitter below:
WE STAND FOR DEMOCRACY — 100s of companies and exec sign this letter opposing "any discriminatory legislation." Ad appeared in the NYT and @washingtonpost today. w / @andrewrsorkin https://t.co/TSPtxjkWhR pic.twitter.com/bAtS8SyseB
— David Gelles (@dgelles) April 14, 2021
Lawrence Yee contributed to this post.