After the Oscars snub, Will Smith says he’ll « fully understand » if viewers choose not to watch « Emancipation. »

Will Smith says that he’ll ‘completely understand’ if audiences decline to watch ‘Emancipation’ after Oscars slap

Will Smith says that he’ll ‘completely understand’ if audiences decline to watch ‘Emancipation’ after Oscars slap

Will Smith, the contentious hero of the historical drama Emancipation, is the center of attention as the Apple TV+ Oscar contender enters the race. It’s the actor’s first significant film role since the 94th Academy Awards in March when he stunned spectators by slapping Chris Rock after the comedian delivered a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and won the Best Actor award for King Richard. Smith made it plain in a recent interview that he wants viewers to pay attention to the rest of the film’s creative crew.

Watch Will Smith’s new interview about his Oscar night actions below

The Men in Black actor admitted to Fox 5’s Kevin McCarthy that his crew was his biggest worry. I sincerely hope that my actions don’t harm my team because the members of this group have produced some of their best work to date.

Emancipation, the newest movie from Antoine Fuqua, the creator of blockbusters like Training Day and The Equalizer, will have a theatrical debut on December 2 and a streaming debut on December 9. The film, which is set during the Civil War, depicts the true story of a slave named Peter who joined the Union Army in order to flee a harsh life in the Deep South. Smith says he thinks Fuqua has surpassed himself and that this is the first time they have worked together. Smith makes the statement, « Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career, » while also praising the talents of Robert Richardson, the director of photography, and other cast members like Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa.

The actor is obviously well aware that the Oscar-night smack is still having an impact on the industry and may prevent viewers from seeing Emancipation in theaters or at home. In response to McCarthy’s question about what he would say to potential moviegoers who aren’t quite ready to watch a Will Smith film right now, Smith says he would « totally understand » their response.

Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars
Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars

Similar comments were shared by Smith during a roundtable discussion with Entertainment Weekly that included some of the movie’s cast members. His comment that « so many people have done fantastic work on this picture » is the only thing that makes him uncomfortable in his heart. I definitely lose a few hours of sleep every night worrying that I might have fined my team, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that everyone is given the credit they deserve.

Criminal Minds

Notably, despite the Academy’s decision to bar Smith from the Oscars for ten years following the March telecast — after the actor had already left the group — he is still qualified to be nominated for Best Actor. Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the Oscars next year, and if Emancipation ends up doing well at the awards, it will bring more drama to the event. (Rock reportedly said that he was offered the opportunity to host the Oscars in 2023 but turned it down. Also unaccepted by the comedian is Smith’s apologies, which he extended in a September YouTube video.

Kimmel had announced that he will discuss the issue, telling Extra: « It must surface in some way. I don’t necessarily want to downplay it. Comedians are furious about it, but you have to, of course. When I presented the Oscars one year, they read the wrong winner, and the following year they had to address it. I believe that something will be present. »

Observation: Emancipation premieres Dec. 2 in theaters and Dec. 9 on Apple TV+

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