‘Emancipation’ producer criticised for bringing “slave memorabilia” to premiere

Will Smith Emancipation

Emancipation producer Joey McFarland has “wholeheartedly” apologised for bringing the infamous “Scourged Back” photo to the film’s premiere.

The producer brought the photo, which depicts a man called Gordon with severe whipping scars on his back, to the premiere and was criticised on social media.

McFarland also called the man Peter, which many are criticising as nodding to “Whipped Peter”, suggesting the name he was given when enslaved.

Will Smith plays Peter in the Apple TV+ film.

“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the Emancipation premiere,” McFarland wrote on Instagram.

“My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today.”

Later in the message, McFarland said he hopes that “actions didn’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story, and just how much impact he had on the world.”

Will Smith plays Peter in the film, and recently said he understands if people are “not ready” for his first role back.

“My hope is that my team isn’t penalized at all for my actions,” he said. “I think [director Antoine Fuqua] and [cinematographer Robert Richardson] and Ben and Charmaine — everyone has done such spectacular work.

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

The post ‘Emancipation’ producer criticised for bringing “slave memorabilia” to premiere appeared first on NME.

Ella Kemp