If Anything Is Certain In These Uncertain Times, It's Spike Lee's Stance On The Reopening Of Georgia Movie Theaters
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp thinks we should all go to a movie. Lee begs to differ.
April 28, 2020 at 9:34 pm
The Republican governor announced earlier in the month his plans to re-open businesses that would include tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and movie theaters, a plan which began execution in the southern state on Friday. The decision went against expert advice and eventual warnings from the White House.
The Do The Right Thing director is one of the first industry titans who has vocalized support for a continued industry lockdown.
“Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw. I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING,” wrote Lee in an email to Vanity Fair.
Y'all got that, right?
Hollywood has been shuffling to restructure as COVID-19 has thrown the industry into uncertain chaos. Many highly anticipated, and expensive, releases have seen their premiere dates pushed back indefinitely — like Disney’s $200 million production of Mulan. Production companies stand to lose as much as $20 billion due to the pandemic, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Naturally, studios aren’t planning any major releases during this time. And just because the theaters can be open, it doesn’t mean that theatre owners will take Gov. Kemp up on his offer.
Georgia Theatre Company, which owns 22 theaters in the state, plans to start showing films in June to accommodate summer blockbusters, WJXT reported.
“Although the Governor will allow us to open our theatres in Georgia on Monday, we will not be opening for several weeks. We want to make sure we are providing a safe and comfortable environment for our employees and our customers. The first major new release, Tenant, directed by Christopher Nolan, is scheduled to be released on July 17. We will open a few weeks before then with repertory films to build some momentum ahead of Tenant. We believe there is a lot of pint-up demand for movie-going and expect people want to get out of their houses to see a movie as soon as they can,” said the president of GTC, Bo Chambliss.
Many politicians have also come out in opposition to the governor’s opening of the state. Former Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have called the governor’s actions dangerous, as Blavity previously reported.
“These jobs that are reopening, these businesses that are reopening, are going to force frontline workers back to work without having been tested, without having access to a healthcare system to help them if they are in need,” said Abrams.
“The responsibility of a business owner is to first protect your workers. That cannot happen when you have a nail salon, when there's no possible way for that technician to be distant from their customer, when you are running a restaurant that requires face-to-face service,” she added.
“We see our numbers are continuing to tick up in this state, we see that our deaths are rising,” said Bottoms. “We have some of the highest asthma rates in the country right here in Atlanta.”
As for Gov. Kemp, he seemed to have been inspired by President Donald Trump.
"We appreciate their leadership and share in the president's desire to reopen the economy and get Americans back to work," Kemp said.
Lee's upcoming film Da 5 Bloods will be safely streaming on Netflix.