I can understand if you don’t want to see me yet

American actor Will Smith Photo: PM pat kay pat kay cul sei ost

to bz / dpa

Hollywood star Will Smith says he can “totally understand” when people don’t want to see his new movie “Emancipation” after he was slapped at the Oscars.

“I would totally respect that and give them their space not to be ready yet,” the 54-year-old told Fox 5. “My sincere hope is that my actions will not penalize my team.”

Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards in late March after he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett. Shortly thereafter, Smith won an Oscar for Leading Actor for his role in the tennis drama King Richard.

Will Smith punches Chris Rock in the face at the Oscars

Will Smith punches Chris Rock in the face at the Oscars Photo: /FW1F/Kenneth Ferris

The actor, who has since apologized to The Rock in a Facebook video, also spoke to presenter Trevor Noah on Monday about that “terrible evening” and confirmed that he was “standing by himself” during his act. “That wasn’t the person I wanted to be,” said Smith.

Emancipation is based on the true story of a severely abused slave who escaped to the northern United States. The movie, directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Equalizer”), is set to hit US theaters December 2, and will be released a week later on the Apple TV+ streaming service.


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