Apple trusts Will Smith
It was a scandal at the time, provoked by Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, Apple announced on Monday, October 3 the release in December of its new film Emancipation, with the actor in the lead.
The Hollywood specialists were instead betting on a postponement of this historical movie about slavery, because of the smell of sulfur that emanates from Mr. Smith since his slap last March on the host of the Oscars, the comedian Chris Rock. A widely condemned slip earned him a 10-year ban from the ceremony.
The scandal did not change Apple’s decision to release Emancipation in U.S. theaters on December 2, before a release on its streaming platform Apple TV+ the following week. This timing allows the company to nominate the film for the upcoming Oscars, just after becoming the first streaming platform to be awarded the Best Picture statuette at the last ceremony with its feature film CODA.
The star with unexpected reflexes, Mr. Smith has been keeping a low profile since the last Oscars, during which he won the best actor award for his performance in The Williams Method, minutes after slapping Chris Rock, who had mocked the alopecia of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star publicly apologized shortly after that incident. In July, he also posted a video on social networks, proposing a meeting with the comedian.
Will Smith resigned from the Academy of the Oscars. The Academy banned him from the ceremony for 10 years, but nothing can stop him from being nominated for the competition. His Oscar for best actor was not withdrawn despite the scandal.
In this new film, Emancipation, he plays a runaway slave in the swamps of Louisiana, hoping to reach the North Country, synonymous with freedom for African-Americans in the United States of the nineteenth century.
The film was directed by Antoine Fuqua, whose 2001 film Training Day won Denzel Washington the Oscar for Best Actor.
Emancipation was initially scheduled to be filmed in Georgia. Still, production was relocated to Louisiana after the South American state passed a controversial law, which several NGOs said was intended to discourage African-American voting.
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