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Will Smith Is Afraid Audiences Might 'Penalise' His Film 'Emancipation' After Oscars Slap Fiasco

Legendary actor Will Smith, during a recent interview, expressed his "deepest concerns" that people might avoid his film "Emancipation" after the infamous Oscars slap.

Will Smith Is Afraid Audiences Might 'Penalise' His Film 'Emancipation' After Oscars Slap Fiasco
Image Credit: Reuters

Hollywood actor Will Smith, who has been busy with the promotions of his upcoming historical drama Emancipation, said that he "completely understands" if audiences are not yet comfortable to watch him in his new movie after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The actor appeared for an interview with Fox 5 where he acknowledged people's mixed feelings about his return to acting before the debut of the slavery narrative and Smith's first major project since the infamous Oscars slap.

However, he hopes that his behaviour does not negatively impact the film which is being released in the prelude to awards season.

Talking about his deepest concern, Smith said, "I completely understand that, if someone is not ready. I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready.

"However, my deepest concern is my team. Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work in 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 penalise 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 – I'm hoping that the good that can be done – will open people's hearts at a minimum to see and recognise and support the incredible artists in and around this film."

Watch the interview here:

The actor also appeared on the Monday eveing's episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, to promote his film. There, while talking about the controversial Oscars event, he said that he had a lot of bottled-up rage inside him that night.

When comedian Noah asked him about his journey since the incident, he said, "You're asking, what did I learn? And it's that we just got to be nice to each other man. You know, it's like, it's hard. And I guess the thing that was most painful for me is, I took my hard and made it hard for other people. You know, it's like, I understood the idea when they say hurt people hurt people."

Addressing the "horrific night", he further stated, "There are many complexities and nuances to it. But at the end of the day, I just, I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody's going through. I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time."

Talking about how he had to forgive himself for being a human, The Pursuit of Happiness star said, "I had to forgive myself for being human. Trust me, there's nobody that hates the fact that I'm human more than me. And just finding that space for myself within myself to be human.

"It's like, I want, I've always wanted to be Superman. I've always wanted to swoop in and save the damsel in distress, you know. And I had to humble down, you know, and realise that I'm a flawed human, and I still have an opportunity to go out in the world and contribute in a way that fills my heart, and hopefully helps other people."

Emancipation chronicles the journey of Gordon, who was better known as "Whipped Peter", an escaped slave. His back was blemished with numerous marks from beatings that he had suffered, and these ghastly pictures were circulated across the globe in 1863, intensifying the abolitionist movement.

Watch the trailer here:

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