“My deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team”: Will Smith Expresses Anxiety for Upcoming Film Emancipation as Many Plan to Boycott the Movie Due to His Oscars Slap

Will Smith is worried about his upcoming film, Emancipation.
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Will Smith spoke about his concerns for the upcoming movie Emancipation and said he completely understands if people choose not to see it. The said film is the actor’s first project after the unfortunate event that took place at the Oscars early this year. Fans would remember that Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after the latter delivered an offensive joke.

Will Smith Oscars
Will Smith, 94th Academy Awards

Emancipation is a historical drama movie about slavery directed by Antoine Fuqua. It is based on the life of Peter who ran away from his plantation to search for his family. The man traveled across Louisiana swamps and outsmarted the hunters along the way.

RELATED: “I’ll be supporting Will Smith and Emancipation. I never canceled him”: Fans Root For Will Smith; Would Emancipation Be The Disgraced Actor’s Comeback?


Will Smith Shares Major Concern For Emancipation Movie After Oscars Incident

Will Smith Emancipation
Will Smith in Emancipation (2022)

During a press for Emancipation, Will Smith gracefully said that he respects people’s decisions and gives them space if they are not ready. However, the actor also pointed out his biggest concern about the entire production.

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.”

Smith also added that he hopes the material of the movie, its power and timeliness would encourage people to see it, and support the artists behind and around the project. Before the slapping incident, the actor was a strong contender for the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard. Ultimately, he won in the category; however, after the incident, his upcoming feature film was greatly affected.

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Emancipation Director Committed To Release Movie This Year

Will Smith Emancipation 2
Will Smith in Emancipation (2022)

In an interview with Variety, Emancipation director Antoine Fuqua fought for the movie to be released in the same year the Oscars slap happened.

The film, to me, is bigger than that moment. 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.”

Fuqua clarified that there was never a hint or conversation with the distribution company that said Emancipation won’t come out because of the backlash following Smith’s controversy.

The director revealed that he had a thorough discussion with Apple. He said, “We were in Hollywood, and there’s been some really ugly things that have taken place, and we’ve seen a lot of people get awards that have done some really nasty things.” The company ultimately considered his proposal despite the controversies. Finally, things were settled, and the film is now ready to go.


Emancipation will premiere in theaters this December 2 and will arrive on Apple TV this December 9.

Source: Variety

RELATED: “No f—king way!”: Academy Voters Overwhelmingly Deny Voting For Will Smith Starring ‘Emancipation’ For Oscars After Fans Call it as Desperate Oscar Bait



Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1923

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.