Tyler Perry Calls Georgia Voting Law "Unconstitutional," Says DOJ Should Take Action

Tyler Perry
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"As some consider boycotting, please remember that we did turn Georgia blue and there is a gubernatorial race on the horizon," said the Atlanta-based mogul.

Tyler Perry is weighing in on Georgia's new voting law.

The Atlanta-based mogul, who runs a sprawling studio in the city, acknowledged that it's not the first time his state has passed controversial legislation. "As a Georgia resident and business owner I’ve been here a few times with the anti-abortion bill and the LGBTQ discrimination bill," Perry said in a statement. "They all sent a shockwave through Georgia and the nation but none of them managed to succeed."

The multi-hyphenate says he's hoping that will be the case this time around, too. "I’m resting my hope in the DOJ taking a hard look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law that harkens to the Jim Crow era," he continued. He also weighed in on calls to pull business from the state: "As some consider boycotting, please remember that we did turn Georgia blue and there is a gubernatorial race on the horizon — that’s the beauty of a democracy."

The new election law — which ushered in more rigid voter restrictions like ID requirements for absentee voting, limiting the number of ballot drop boxes, and making it illegal to give food and water to voters in line — has drawn widespread criticism from voting rights groups and Democrats. President Biden dubbed it "Jim Crow in the 21st Century," while Stacey Abrams called it "a reminder of Georgia’s dark past."

Some in Hollywood who have denounced the law have also called for a boycott of the state, which is home to several major films and TV shows. Most notably, Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold tweeted that he would not direct a future film in Georgia due to the new law. "Georgia has been using cash to steal movie jobs from other states that allow people to vote. I don't want to play there," wrote the director. Star Wars actor Mark Hamill seconded Mangold's call to action, posting a tweet with the hashtag #NoMoreFilminginGeorgia.

But others have discouraged a boycott in the wake of the new legislation. "Please stop the #BoycottGeorgia talk," Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice King wrote on Twitter. "That would hurt middle class workers and people grappling with poverty. And it would increase the harm of both racism and classism."

Similarly, Georgia-based actor Steve Coulter, who has appeared in P-Valley and Yellowstone, pleaded with Mangold to think twice before boycotting his state: "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."

And while Abrams has yet to weigh in on the calls for a boycott, in the past she has advised against them. Amid anti-abortion legislation in 2019, she penned a Los Angeles Times op-ed that said that though she respected the calls for a boycott of the state, "I do not believe it is the most effective, strategic choice for change."