[Photo Source: CBS News]
Will Smith’s new film “Emancipation” will be released in December — his first major project since he infamously slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars in March. Smith posted a trailer of the movie on his social media pages and called it the “hardest movie I’ve ever made.”
The movie centres around Smith’s character, Peter, an enslaved man who escapes a Louisiana plantation and makes his way north. According to Apple, the film was inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter.” One of the images – known as “The Scourged Back” – shows Peter’s bare back mutilated from whippings by his enslavers and it proved to be instrumental in shifting the public sentiment in opposition to slavery.
The film premiered in an advanced screening during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference over the weekend. NAACP President, Derrick Johnson was in attendance and praised the movie.
The announcement of the movie’s release date comes more than six months after Smith slapped Rock on stage during the Academy Awards ceremony. Smith hit Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Rock likened Pinkett Smith to the movie character “G.I. Jane” because she is bald due to a diagnosis of alopecia, which causes hair loss.
Smith apologized to Rock publicly and the Academy announced Smith would be banned for 10 years from any of their events after the incident. While Smith also resigned from the Academy, he is eligible to be nominated and win.