Will Smith Attends Screening for 1st Movie Since Chris Rock Slap

Moving forward Will SmithParticipated in a screening EmancipationHis first movie since he slapped Chris Rockat the Oscars in February.

The Academy Award winner, 54, participated in a Q&A about the film after a a special screening in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, October 1. The conversation also included Antoine Fuqua, the movie’s director, as well as Mary ElliottAmerican slavery curator at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films that were set in slavery,” the Men in BlackStar said at the event according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I never wanted to show us like that. Then, this picture was born. This film is not about slavery. This film is about freedom. This film is about resilience. This is a film about faith.”

Based on a true story EmancipationThe story of Peter, an enslaved slave, who escapes a Louisiana plantation to join the Union Army during Civil War. Peter — whose real name was Gordon — was the subject of a famous 1863 photograph that showed his back heavily scarred from beatings he received while he was enslaved.

“This is a film about the heart of a man — what could be called the first viral image,” Smith reportedly said on Saturday. “Cameras had just been created, and the image of whipped Peter went around the world. It was a rallying cry against slavery, and this was a story that exploded and blossomed in my heart that I wanted to be able to deliver to you in a way that only Antoine Fuqua could deliver.”

Apple announced Monday, September 3, that EmancipationThe film will be released in theaters on December 2, before being available on Apple TV+ a week later. The film’s release date had been up in the air in the aftermath of the Oscars, where Smith slapped Rock, 57.

The Academy was closed down after the incident. Independence Day actor from attending any of the organization’s events for the next 10 years. The Oscar nominee from Philadelphia is still eligible for wins and nominations. However, he will not be allowed to attend any of the organization’s events if he gets a nod before 2032.

The July issue of the Bel-Air’s Fresh PrinceAn alum shared an Instagram video of an emotional apology, claiming that Rock reached out to him to discuss the slap.

“The message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk,” the Will author alleged. “And when he is, he will reach out. Chris, I am sorry for my behavior. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk. … I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t.”

The King Richard star also apologized to the comedian’s mother. “I saw an interview that Chris’ mother did and, you know, that was just one of the things about that moment, I just didn’t realize and, you know, I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt in that moment,” Smith explained. “So I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’ family.”

An insider exclusively revealed the story after the video went online Us Weekly that the actor’s wife, Jada pinkett SmithIt was posted by his friend.

“Jada has also been pushing Will to apologize because it has become this really dark cloud over her Red Table Talk series,” the source said in August, adding that Smith was “in hell” after the backlash. “His team had hoped that the controversy would die down, but it just hasn’t. Without him, it would be impossible for him move forward with success. [addressed the slap].”