Actress Aunjanue Ellis announced she's moving her production company, Miss Myrtis, to Louisiana until the state flag is changed. Ellis, whose movie credits include "The Help," "Ray," and "Get on Up," is asking her colleagues not to shoot films in Mississippi as well.
"I won't film in Mississippi. I won't shoot, act in another film in Mississippi until the confederate flag, the KKK flag, the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia comes down. Any filming or anything that I would do would be in service to bringing it down," said Ellis.
Ellis talked about the issue at the capitol before the start of a rally to protest the state flag. She says, it took the killings of nine African Americans in a South Carolina church to re-ignite the debate over the oppressive symbol. Ellis believes people are listening now and it's time to move the state forward by crafting a flag that represents everyone. She wants famous Mississippians like Oprah to join the effort.
"I think she needs to speak out and not just Ms. Winfrey, Tate Taylor, Kathryn Stockett, Haley Williams from Paramore. People who have platforms. People will listen to them. The reason that's important is that white and black people listen to them," said Ellis.
Jenni Lewton Yates, a professor at Millsaps College, was at the rally and supports Ellis. "I think it's going to take a lot of this. A lot of people coming together and having conversations, and a lot of people calling their representatives and asking for a new vote about the flag," said Yates.
Mississippi's Tourism Agency, Visit Mississippi said in a statement that the film industry is thriving and we will continue to invite all interested parties to experience Mississippi's welcoming business climate for themselves.