Will Smith made his first red carpet appearance following the 2022 Oscars, for the Los Angeles premiere of his new film Emancipation. The Antoine Fuqua film marks his first release since the Oscars controversy in March where he slapped presenter Chris Rock live onstage.
Will arrived on the red carpet, at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood with his family, wife Jada Pinkett Smith and children Trey, Willow and Jaden by his side. The family colour-coordinated their ensembles, where Will paired a burgundy Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo with a light pink undershirt that matched son Trey's look. Jada opted for an oversized white turtleneck dress with matching jewellery. Daughter Willow chose a black ensemble with silver embellishments and son Jaden rocked a tuxedo with black-and-white prints.
In Emancipation, the actor stars as Peter, an enslaved man widely recognized because of a 1863 photograph known as “The Scourged Back,” published in Harper's Weekly, that showed the keloid scars the man suffered because of a lifetime of whippings. Speaking about the filming experience, Will told Variety, "It’s certainly unlocked an empathy and a gratitude that I get to live in this time. And a gratitude for the people who went before me and before us, to take beatings, so I can stand here today." Emancipation also stars Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, Gilbert Owuor, and Mustafa Shakir.
Will's latest appearance comes after he spoke at length about his actions at the Oscars on The Daily Show for an interview with host Trevor Noah, and it had impacted the public perception about him. “That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” he began. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know? That is not who I want to be.” Will also appeared for a virtual press tour on Fox 5 DC’s Kevin McCarthy where he said, “I completely understand that if…someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready…My deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team.”