Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation” was screened in DC months after it was suspended in the wake of Smith’s Oscar controversy

The fate of Will Smith and director Antoine Fuquas The film “Emancipation” may not be on the brink anymore.

The historical play was reportedly shelved by AppleTV after Smith’s controversial performance at the 2022 Oscars, where he slapped Chris Rock in the face while the comedian was on stage.

Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua. (Photos: @willsmith/Instagram, @iamlelarochon/Instagram)

However, the A-list star’s project might not be doomed to gather dust. On October 1, Apple and the NAACP hosted the film’s first screening in Washington, DC during the 51st Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Smith and Fuqua were present at the screening, where the ‘King Richard’ actor spoke openly about his reluctance to make a film set in the slavery era.

“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down a lot of films that were set in slavery. I never meant to show it to us like that, you know? And then came this movie. This is not a film about slavery, this is a film about freedom, this is a film about resilience,” he said while standing next to Fuqua.

He added: “You know, this is a film about faith. It’s a film about a man’s heart. In what could be called the first viral image, cameras had just been created and the image of Whipped Peter went around the world and was a rallying cry against slavery. This was a story that exploded and blossomed in my heart that I wanted to bring to you in a way only Antoine Fuqua could.”

In the film, Smith portrays “Whipped Peter,” a former Union Army soldier who fled a plantation in Louisiana. The iconic image of his scarred back first appeared in newspapers during the Civil War. Production of Emancipation began in Georgia in the summer of 2021. However, the state’s new voting restrictions, which many described as throwback to the Jim Crow era, prompted Smith and Fuqua to relocate filming to New Orleans, Louisiana.

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/10/03/i-never-wanted-to-show-us-like-that-will-smith-and-antoine-fuquas-emancipation-screened-in-d-c-months-after-being-shelved-in-the-wake-of-smiths-oscars-controversy/ Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation” was screened in DC months after it was suspended in the wake of Smith’s Oscar controversy

James Brien

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