Will Smith Left Speechless After Being Spat On By Co-Star
After a meteoric rise in his acting and rapping career, Will Smith has had a rough go at it as of late, largely due to his behavior at the Academy Awards earlier this year. With the slap seen around the world involving comedian Chris Rock, Smith has been on a bit of a PR tour trying to save his career this year while promoting his new Apple TV+ film Emancipation. During a discussion on the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, Will Smith shared that Emancipation costar Steven Ogg spit on him during an intense moment of filming.
Apparently, Will Smith threw himself into the character of Peter in Emancipation and encouraged his costars to do the same. During a moment of impromptu acting on the part of white actor Steven Ogg, Smith recalled a moment to his children Trey, Jaden, and Willow Smith when Ogg spit on him while reciting the line, “You a cold one, ain’t you?” Smith was taken aback by Ogg’s spit, at that moment, but continued in the scene because he felt that Ogg’s acting talent was exactly what the scene needed.
Even though Emancipation has proven to be a success for Apple TV+ after it was released to the subscription streaming platform this month, the film has generated a lot of controversy amongst critics and audiences. The movie’s producer, Joey McFarland, brought a picture of a slave who had been whipped to the red carpet premiere of the movie, which social media criticized because it seemed that McFarland kept a personal collection of similar photographs of slaves. After the historical film debuted on the streamer, Rotten Tomatoes updated its ranking of the movie, which currently has a rating of 45% on its Tomatometer based on 131 critics’ reviews.
Emancipation was initially viewed by many film experts to be Will Smith’s semi-comeback role after bad press seemingly sidelined his acting career earlier this year. Despite taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2022 for King Richard, the biographical film about the early days of tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams and their family life, Smith created controversy of his own by slapping presenter Chris Rock mere moments before accepting the Oscar. The event became one of the most talked about occurrences of the year, significantly damaging Smith’s reputation even though he claimed he was defending his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s honor at that moment.
After Emancipation has so far failed to earn Will Smith recognition during awards season, the actor is most likely looking towards the future to gain some respect from critics and audiences once again. The established performer chose to withdraw his membership from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as a result of his behavior at the Academy Awards, and the Academy ruled earlier this year that Smith will not be allowed to attend any Academy events for the next 10 years, even if he is nominated for an Academy Award. Will Smith does not appear to have any projects lined up at the moment but that might change soon enough.