Photo: Getty
  /  11.28.2022

Will Smith says he would “completely understand” if people are not ready to see him on the big screen following his infamous Oscars slap that caused controversy all over the world earlier this year.

On Monday (Nov. 28), the actor spoke with FOX 5 DC’s Kevin McCarthy about his new film, Emancipation, which is set to be released in theaters on Friday, Dec. 2 and start streaming on Apple TV+ on Friday, Dec. 9. When asked what he would tell people who aren’t ready to see him on the big screen following the slap, Will said, “I completely understand that, if someone is not ready I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready.”

He added, “My deepest concern is my team. The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team.”

“I’m hoping that the material, the power of the film, the timeliness of the story, you know, I’m hoping that the good that can be done would open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film,” the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star continued.

 

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This will be his first major project since he slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, on stage during the Academy Awards ceremony in March.

Emancipation centers around Will’s character, Peter, an enslaved man who escapes a Louisiana plantation and makes his way north. According to Apple, the film was inspired by brutal 1863 images of a man whose bare back was mutilated from whippings by his enslavers.

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