Director Antoine Fuqua has expressed hope that audiences can get away from Will Smith’s Oscar smack.
Fuqua, whose previous films include training day and The equalizerHe will release his latest film emancipation next month.
Set in late 19th-century Louisiana, the film stars Smith as a man named Peter who embarks on a grueling journey to freedom after escaping enslavement.
In March, Smith made headlines for slapping Chris Rock in the face at the Academy Awards after Rock made an ill-considered joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
In the weeks and months since, fans and public figures alike have fervently debated the event, with some questioning Smith’s place in Hollywood based on his actions.
Smith has apologized on at least two occasions, most recently in July in the form of a five-minute video.
During an interview with vanity fair Fuqua, who was released on Tuesday (Nov. 15), referenced the viral moment and expressed his wish that viewers of the film should put aside all opinions about Smith and focus on the important story being told.
“For me, the film is bigger than this moment. Four hundred years of slavery is greater than a moment,” Fuqua explained.
“I hope people take that view and watch the film and get carried away by the amazing performance by Will and all the really hard work that the whole crew has put in.”
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The film is inspired by the memorable photograph of an enslaved man, commonly referred to as “Whipped Peter,” showing his back bulging with scars after being brutally flogged by slaves.
The striking image contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.
emancipation will be available to stream on Apple TV+ on Friday, December 9th.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/antoine-fuqua-will-smith-slap-emancipation-b2226352.html Emancipation director Antoine Fuqua hopes people will get away from Will Smith’s slap in the face