Will Smith Says He Loses Sleep About The Oscars Slap Impacting His New Movie "Emancipation"

You may or may not know that Will Smith has a big new movie, Emancipation, that comes out in theaters this Friday. (It drops on Apple TV+ on Dec. 9, too.)

Title card for Emancipation featuring a closeup of Will's character
Apple TV+ / Walt Disney Co. / courtesy Everett Collection

If you didn't know, that's probably because there hasn't been much promotion around the Antoine Fuqua–directed film — and there's likely a reason for that.

  Quantrall Colbert / Apple TV / courtesy Everett Collection
Quantrall Colbert / Apple TV / courtesy Everett Collection

Specifically, the fallout from Will slapping Chris Rock during this year's Oscars continues to follow the actor, and there's a good chance it'll affect the performance of Emancipation too.

Will slapping Chris Rock

At one point, Apple was reportedly considering pushing back the film's release date to 2023 because of the fallout.

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Will acknowledged the impact that "The Slap" might have on how critics and audiences receive Emancipation.

Antoine directing Will
Quantrall Colbert / Apple TV / courtesy Everett Collection

"The only discomfort my heart has around that is that so many people have done spectacular work on this film," he said. "My hope is that my team isn't penalized at all for my actions."

  Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Will went on to praise the "spectacular work" of Antoine, cinematographer Robert Richardson, and his costars Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa — and he acknowledged that their work going unappreciated due to his past actions has been a concern.

  Neilson Barnard / Getty Images
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

"I definitely lose a couple winks of sleep every night thinking that I could have potentially penalized my team," he said, "but I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone gets seen in the light that they deserve."

  Kevin Winter / Getty Images for AFI
Kevin Winter / Getty Images for AFI

This isn't the first time Will's addressed the aftermath of "The Slap." At a private screening of Emancipation last month, he mentioned how boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. — who has a history of domestic violence — called him for 10 days to check in after the incident.

  Axelle / FilmMagic / Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images
Axelle / FilmMagic / Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

You can watch Will's comments from that screening here, and read the rest of the Entertainment Weekly interview here.