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Actor Will Smith says if the audience is not ready to see him on the big screen so soon, he will understand. the infamous oscar slap earlier this year.

On Monday, Smith spoke with Fox 5 DC’s Kevin McCarthy about his new film “Emancipation,” which is set to be released in theaters on December 2 and will begin streaming on Apple TV+ on December 9.

It is his first major project since he slapped chris rock Onstage during the Academy Awards ceremony in March when the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage during Oscars telecast
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

After the incident, Smith publicly apologized to Rock and was banned from the oscars For 10 years. While Smith also resigned from the Academy, he is still eligible to be nominated and win.

When asked what he would say to those who are not ready to see him on the big screen after Thappad, Smith said he would respect that choice but added that he hoped that his personal actions would contribute to the success of the film. The hard work of the team behind will not go down. ,

“I fully understand that, if someone is not ready, I will fully respect that and give them space for not being ready,” he told McCarthy. “My deepest concern is my team…the people on this team have done some of the best work in their entire careers, and I deeply hope that my actions don’t punish my team.”

Will Smith
Will Smith attends the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

“I’m hoping that the content, the power of the film, the timeliness of the story, you know, I’m hoping that the good that can be done is at least in people’s hearts to see and recognize and support the incredible.” will open up the cast in and around this film,” Smith said.

“Emancipation” centered around Smith’s character, Peter, an enslaved man who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and makes his way north. According to Apple, the film was inspired by photographs in 1863 of a man whose bare back was whipped by his slaves—brutal images that helped solidify public sentiment in opposition to slavery.

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