Joey McFarland, a producer on the film emancipationShe apologized after showing a real photo of an enslaved man at the red carpet premiere.
In the historical film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, Will Smith plays a man named Peter who struggles through the rugged terrain of Louisiana to escape enslavement.
Smith’s character was inspired by a memorable photograph of an enslaved man, commonly referred to as “Whipped Peter,” showing his back scarred by keloid scars after suffering brutal floggings at the hands of slaves.
At the premiere event for emancipation Last week McFarland showed the press the original 1863 photograph of Whipped Peter and narrated it diversity: “I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”
However, this action drew criticism from online commentators, who were confused about the producer’s intentions.
In a social media post on Sunday (December 4), McFarland apologized and said he wanted to honor the man.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart to anyone I have offended by bringing a photo of Peter emancipation Premiere,” his caption began.
“My intention was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only led to change in 1863, but continues to resonate and encourage change today.”
When the photo was published at the time, it acted as a catalyst in the abolitionist movement because of its obvious brutality.
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McFarland continued, “Having uncovered Peter’s origin story with the help of conscientious historians, I’ve spent the last several years working with him emancipation creative time to bring his story to life for global audiences to have a chance to honor his heroism. I hope my actions don’t detract from the message of the film.”
He added that he will soon start finding the right institution to donate the artifacts to.
emancipation will stream on Apple TV Plus beginning Friday, December 9th. You can read The Independent‘s review here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/emancipation-joey-mcfarland-whipped-peter-b2238884.html Emancipation’s producer apologizes after backlash for showing slavery artifact on red carpet