For the first time since the 94th Academy Awards, actor Will Smith is hitting the media trail in promotion of his upcoming film, Emancipation. During a recent interview with the talented Kevin McCarthy of FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., Will Smith was asked about the infamous incident that occurred at the 94th Academy Awards. Specifically, McCarthy was curious to learn what Smith would say to those who feel he is coming back into the spotlight too quickly after the debacle. Without hesitation, Smith said that he understands how people may feel about him returning to the Hollywood spotlight.
“I completely understand — if someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready,” Smith told McCarthy.
“My deepest concern is my team – Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career. 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. At this point, that’s what I’m working for.”
On December 9, Smith’s latest film, Emancipation, will theaters across the country. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film of an enslaved Black man by the name of Peter who travels north after being whipped within an inch of his life. In the words of Smith, this is the “greatest work” of Fuqua’s career. In the words of Fuqua, this is one of the most important projects he has worked on in his legendary career.
“The film to me is bigger than that moment,” Fuqua told Chris Murphy of Vanity Fair in November.
“Four hundred years of slavery is bigger than one moment. My hope is that people will see it that way and watch the movie and be swept away with the great performance by Will and all the real hard work that the whole crew did.”
Emancipation will debut in select theaters this week, followed by a wider released in early December.