Will Smith placed himself on self-hiatus due to his Oscars flap (Or should it be slap) earlier this year. After striking Chris Rock in the face and being penalized by the Academy and being scorned publicly, he “went away” for self-reflection and to get away from public scrutiny. So when word came out that his upcoming movie, Emancipation was being released before the end of the year after being pushed back, it caught people by surprise.
Now, after a recent interview, Smith has stated that he “understands” if people aren’t “ready” to see his latest movie due to his misdeed on the Oscar stage in March.
During an interview with Fox 5 DC reporter, Kevin McCarthy, which was posted on his Instagram account, Smith expressed concern that the team who worked on Emancipation, will be penalized because of his actions this past Spring.
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The film, which is directed by Antoine Fuqua is scheduled to hit theaters later this week on Dec. 2 and on Apple TV+ on Dec. 9. Emancipation is the first film Smith is releasing after he faced a wave of condemnation for slapping Rock. The Academy Awards banned Smith for 10 years because of his action.
The movie tells the story of Peter, a Black man who was able to escape from slavery.
Smith said it was the “hardest movie I ever made,” CBS News reported.
The character who is played by Smith, follows Peter’s journey to freedom, utilizing his wits and holding fast to his faith, meshed with a strong love for his family. It allows Pete to manage the hardships and navigate the swamps of Louisiana while trying to avoid being captured by hunters.
The movie was inspired by the 1863 photos of Whipped Peter that were recorded during a Union Army medical examination. Those pictures first appeared in Harper’s Weekly.
Earlier this year, Rock, while on stage at the Oscar presentation, had jokingly referred to Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was sporting a bald head as G.I. Jane (Demi Moore starred in the movie and wore her head bald for the role). Late last year, the actress took to Instagram to speak about having alopecia and how she is not going to let the balding condition stop her. Smith, in defense of his wife, approached a stunned Rock on stage and struck him in the face before a live studio audience on television.