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Will Smith: Filming ‘Emancipation’ Showed Me The Power Of Love

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Will Smith was surrounded by family, friends and lots of fans as he returned to the red carpet for the premiere of his Apple TV+ film “Emancipation.”

The event marked his first public outing since slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars back in March.

Guests included Tiffany Haddish, DaBaby, NBA stars Drammond Greene and Matt Barnes, comedian Affion Crockett and more.

Smith, who was joined by wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and his children, was in great spirits talking about the film and how it has forever changed him.

(Photo by Michael Tran / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film tells the triumphant story of Peter (Smith), a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom.

The film is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly. One image, known as “The Scourged Back,” which shows Peter’s bare back mutilated by a whipping delivered by his enslavers, ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.

Smith says he never wanted to do a “slave” film but changed his mind upon reading the script. Producers Joey McFarland and Jon Mone also insist “Emancipation” isn’t a slavery film, but a freedom film.

“Emancipation” hits theaters December 2, and begins streaming on Apple TV+ December 9th.

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