Will Smith - “Emancipation” | The Daily Show

He later added, “I understand how shocking it was for people, man. On that stage—I was gone, dude. I was gone, I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time. I understand the pain.”


Speaking to Emancipation—which tells the triumphant story of Peter, a man who escapes from slavery on a quest for freedom—Smith echoed the sentiments he shared during an interview with Variety earlier on Monday where he hoped his transgression wouldn’t overshadow the hard work of the folks involved with the film.

Emancipation is [director] Antoine [Fuqua’s] masterpiece. He has created an absolute masterpiece,” the King Richard star explained. “Bob Richardson, the DP; Ben Foster; and just all the way down—it’s like these top artists in the world have done some of the best work of their careers. And the idea that they might be denied because of me is like [groans.] It’s like, that is just killing me dead. And the thing that is like, so critical for me, is that these people came and they trusted me and they were down for me. I just hope that their work will be honored and their work will not be tainted based on a horrific decision on my part.”

To watch Smith’s full interview, head to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’s official YouTube.