Will Smith ‘Understands’ If People Don’t Want To Watch His New Movie Following Oscars Slap: My Deepest Hope Is That My Actions Don’t Penalize My Team

Will Smith ‘Understands’ If People Don’t Want To Watch His New Movie Following Oscars Slap: My Deepest Hope Is That My Actions Don’t Penalize My Team

Will Smith is headed back to the big screen, but, this time around, some have seemingly opted not to watch him on it at all!

Ahead of the release of his latest film, Emancipation, which is set to premiere next month in select theaters and on Apple TV+, Will Smith sat down with FOX 5 for an exclusive interview about the forthcoming project.

However, in doing so, the topic of the infamous slap arose, and Will Smith revisited one of the most shocking moments of his career.

Even though many are privy to just how uncomfortable that specific moment in time was, if you hadn’t heard, earlier this year, the 54-year-old made national news after slapping fellow actor/comedian Chris Rock at The Academy Awards.


Will Smith, Chris Rock

The live incident, which took place on Mar. 27, was a result of a joke-gone-wrong that Chris Rock cited about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while on stage at the elegantly-themed ceremony.

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Apparently, the King Richard trouper wasn’t too happy about Chris Rock comparing Jada Pinkett Smith’s (who suffers from alopecia areata, an immune-system condition that causes hair loss) short hairstyle to Demi Moore’s buzz cut in the 1997 classic G.I. Jane, and he didn’t hesitate to let that be known.

Following the questionable joke, Smith immediately made his way to Rock and landed a viral-worthy smack that the world will never forget. Nor will the Oscars board, who ultimately banned Smith from attending any of their events for the next ten years.

Demi Moore

Following the incident, the legendary entertainer’s actions prompted some businesses to turn their backs on him, and also seemingly affected his fan base.

When asked about his opinion of those who’ve made it clear that they weren’t ready to support another Will Smith endeavor yet, he told FOX 5:

“I completely understand that. If someone is not ready [to support me again], I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready.”

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star continued by stating that, as he heads into the premiere of Emancipation, his primary focus, at this time, is on everyone involved with the production and how they’re choosing to navigate through the hoopla that still surrounds the troublesome occurrence in Hollywood.

“My deepest concern is my team. Antoine [Fuqua] has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career.”

Smith later added on to that with a message to his supporters and potential viewers of the anticipated blockbuster.

“The people on this team [behind Emancipation] have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team. So, at this point, that’s what I’m working for, that’s what I’m hoping for. I’m hoping that the material, the power of the film, the timeliness of the story–you know–I’m hoping that the good that can be done would open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film.”

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation follows the obstacles of Peter (portrayed by Smith), a brutally-beaten slave who flees a Louisiana plantation and journeys north for freedom. It is said that Smith was paid $35 million for his participation.

Since the Oscars debacle, the Philly-born entertainer issued a few apologies to Chris Rock. It’s unknown whether Rock has yet to officially forgive Smith, but we’re hoping that all parties are moving forward amicably.

Chris Rock

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Authored by: Ashley Blackwell