ViacomCBS is the first major Hollywood studio to speak out against Georgia’s voter integrity law, claiming without citing evidence that the legislation intended to fight voter fraud actually impedes the “equal right to vote.” The media conglomerate, which owns Paramount Pictures and the CBS network, stopped short of endorsing the left’s demands to boycott the state.
In a statement posted to Twitter, ViacomCBS said that it opposes the new law and will work to promote an “open and fair voting system” through its programming and partnerships with activist groups.
“We unequivocally believe in the importance of all Americans having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes the ability to exercise this vital constitutional right,” the company said.
“Increasing voter access and civic engagement is one of ViacomCBS’ core social impact pillars and we will continue to educate the public on the importance of an open and fair voting system through our programming and extensive partnerships with grassroots organizations that promote and increase participation in elections.”
— ViacomCBS (@ViacomCBS) March 31, 2021
The studio’s statement comes after Paramount appeased Chinese censors by removing a reference to Taiwan in the upcoming Top Gun sequel. The iconic flight jacket worn by Tom Cruise’s character in the movie will no longer feature a patch of the Taiwanese flag, a decision that will boost the movie’s chances of being distributed in China.
ViacomCBS shoots some its highest profile titles in Georgia, including the popular MacGyver reboot. The company previously threatened to withdraw from the state in 2019 over the fetal heartbeat bill.
In a statement, AT&T said the company “believes our right to vote is among the most sacrosanct we enjoy, and that free enterprise and companies like ours thrive where elections are open and secure. Consistent with that belief, we are working with other companies that are members of the Georgia Chamber and Metro-Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, as those organizations support policies that promote accessible and secure voting while also upholding election integrity and transparency.”
AT&T-owned Hollywood studio WarnerMedia said through a spokesperson to the Hollywood Report that its parent company company’s statement speaks for them.
Georgia is Hollywood’s favorite shooting location due to the state’s generous tax credits that have lured numerous productions away from other states like California and Louisiana.
ViacomCBS’s statement comes after Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola publicly condemned the Georgia law. As Breitbart News reported, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian called the new law “unacceptable” in a memo to employees on Wednesday.
Last week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law Senate Bill 202, which is intended to combat voter fraud by implementing identification requirements and limiting ballot drop boxes throughout the state. The new law also gives the Georgia State Elections Board the power to take over county election boards in areas that may require oversight.