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Premiering in theaters on Dec. 2 with a streaming launch set for Dec. 9, Emancipation is the latest film from Antoine Fuqua, the director of hits like Training Day and The Equalizer. Set during the Civil War, the film tells the real-life story of an enslaved man named Peter who escaped a truly brutal existence in the Deep South to join the Union Army.
While promoting his forthcoming film, Smith called the infamous Oscar slap “a horrific night” and said he “lost it” when he stormed the stage at a beeline to presenter Chris Rock.
Smith told Noah in part, “you just never know what somebody is going through, I was going through something that night. Not that that justifies my behavior at all.”
Smith said that what was most painful to him was that his actions made it “hard for other people.”
“And it’s like I understood the idea where they say hurt people hurt people,” he said. “That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
In July, Smith posted an apology to Chris Rock and his mother, however, neither have yet to publicly accept or acknowledge his mea culpa. Smith says he is also aware that people may not be ready to see him after effectively being “cancelled” only several months ago.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 28, 2022
Asked what brought him to the point of slapping Rock, “It was a lot of things,” Smith said in response. “It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know. All of that just bubbled up in that moment.”
Smith said who he was in that moment was “not who I want to be.”