Will Smith says he would 'understand' if audience shun his new movie 'Emancipation'

Will smith in a scene from his new film 'Emancipation', to be released on 2nd December.Twitter

Actor Will Smith said he would 'totally understand' if moviegoers are not 'ready' to see his new movie, 'Emancipation' after he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars earlier this year.

According to a US-based news outlet, the first new Smith movie to be released after the actor hit Chris Rock in the face on stage at the awards ceremony in March 2022 is Antoine Fuqua's new drama 'Emancipation'.

Hollywood actor Will Smith on the poster of his new film 'Emancipation'.

Fuqua directed Training Day, which won Denzel Washington an Oscar.

After the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith hit Rock. Smith has apologised twice and quit as an Academy member since the event, for which he was chastised.

In a recent interview with a reporter, the actor stated that he would understand "if folks were not prepared to see his film" as a result of his slap at the Oscars.

Will Smith (R) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, 27 March, 2022

"I completely understand - if someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready," he said, adding, "My deepest concern is my team -- Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career."

He added, "The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don't penalise my team.

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"At this point, that's what I'm working for. I'm hoping that the material -- the power of the film, the timeliness of the story -- I'm hoping that the good that can be done would open people's hearts at a minimum to see and recognise and support the incredible artists in and around this film," he said.

After winning his second career 'Best Actor' Oscar for 'King Richard' shortly after slapping Rock, Smith gave a tearful acceptance speech.