Emancipation director Antoine Fuqua has defended his upcoming Apple TV+ movie starring Will Smith after suffering an infamous stroke at the Oscars earlier this year.
The new drama, in which he stars as an enslaved man on the run from a Louisiana plantation, is Smith’s first controversy surrounding his role after the blow.
Fuqua, 56, recently told Vanity Fair that he always planned to debut the film, regardless of the Oscar output.
“My conversation was always, ‘Isn’t 400 years of slavery, brutality, more important than a bad moment?'” said the “Equalizer” director.
“We were in Hollywood and some really ugly things happened and we saw a lot of people get awards doing some really nasty things.”
Fuqua said Apple also supported the release.
“I think Apple considered all of those things, and we discussed a lot of those things. Then a decision was made by the people who run sales and money at Apple — and I’m grateful, I’m really grateful,” he said.
“There was never a conversation with me and Apple or my producers Todd Black and Jon Mone or Heather Washington about the movie not getting out. It was more about: “We evaluate everything. We see what people say.’”
The Training Day director also noted how the King Richard star, 54, was “friendly to everyone on set.”
“So no apologies for anyone or anything but I can say he’s a good man and I hope people can forgive him and that we can move forward,” Fuqua concluded. “I hope Chris [Rock] and will find a way to sit together, public, private, or whatever, and make amends.”
Smith beat Oscar presenter Chris Rock at the coveted awards show last March after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The Men in Black actor was subsequently banned from the Oscars for the next ten years and apologized to Rock, 57.
However, “Emancipation” received rave reviews and earned applause during a special screening hosted by the NAACP last month.
“Throughout my career I’ve turned down a lot of films set in slavery,” Smith noted at the screening. “I never wanted to show it to us like that. And then this picture came up. And this is not a film about slavery. This is a film about freedom. This is a film about resilience. This is a film about faith.”
https://nypost.com/2022/11/16/emancipation-director-addresses-will-smiths-oscar-slap/ Emancipation director addresses Will Smith’s Oscar slap