Will Smith’s extensive career seemed to have come to a sudden halt when he chose to get aggressive at the 94th Academy Awards, slapping comedian Chris Rock. The slap, which was a retaliation to a joke made about his wife, resulted in a truckload of hate coming the actor’s way. He even got banned from attending Academy events for ten whole years.
Owing to the controversy, Will Smith was quite anxious about how his film, Emancipation, would be received by the audience. He was worried that the people involved in making the film would have to suffer the consequences of his actions. However, according to a report, this does not seem to be the case and it looks like Will Smith can finally put this ordeal behind him.
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Is the Controversy Finally Behind Will Smith?
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Variety reported that according to a mid-December survey by Maru Group/ Blue Omnibus, fans in the age group of 18-34 have not given up on the actor as they stated that they now see Will Smith in a different (and better) light than before. Since the slap brought Smith to a whole other level of media attention, there is a chance that people were more inclined toward giving his movies a chance. AppleTV+ too, stated that they are more than satisfied with how Emancipation is doing on the streaming platform.
Thanks to the fact that the 18-34 age group is the one that is more into going and watching movies at the theatres, it looks like Smith will have no trouble bouncing back right on the track he was on before the Oscars controversy.
What Is Emancipation About?
Also Read: “I hope my actions don’t penalize my team”: Will Smith Desperately Asks Fans to Watch ‘Emancipation,’ Claims Entire Crew Should Not Be Punished For Him Slapping Chris Rock
The movie is directed by Antoine Fuqua and sees Smith portray the role of a slave, Peter, who decides to take his freedom into his own hands. The movie is based on the real-life story of Gordon, who is known as “Whipped Peter” as the photo of his heavily scarred back drew attention to the unfortunate time period.
While the movie does follow the real story to some extent, there is also a bit of creative liberty taken by the creators in making the movie a dramatic piece. Charmaine Bingwa, who played the character of Dodienne in the film, talked to RadioTimes.com about the intensity of the film, stating that she went through intense preparation for the role.
“It was really intense, the preparation. But I would never do the people that we’re honouring in this film the disservice of doing any less than everything.”
Even Fuqua was adamant about having authenticity in his storytelling, so much so that he showed the background actors the photo of “Whipped Peter” so they could be engaged in the film at a deeper level. The director also shot scenes on a real plantation, instead of on a set.
Looking at the 45% Rotten Tomatoes score given to Emancipation, the critics don’t seem to be a fan of the movie which Smith calls a “freedom movie.” However, thanks to the above-mentioned report, at least we know the film is doing good enough!
Emancipation is available to stream on AppleTV+.