Will Smith’s fall from grace brings a classic quote from another famous William to mind. Will Rogers once said, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” Following his infamous assault on Chris Rock at the Oscars, Smith sent his family’s entire brand into a tailspin. However, beyond damaging his own career, Smith’s childish reaction to a dated dad joke also cost several studios- who were creating a slew of multimillion-dollar films around Smith that also employed hundreds of talented professionals – a fortune. Of all the movies that were either shelved or delayed, the one that stood to hurt Smith the most was his Oscar-bait slavery biopic, Emancipation. Now that some of the dust has settled, it seems like Apple TV is willing to become the first studio to launch a Smith project post slap.
Apple TV’s Emancipation is based on the life story of the man known as Gordon—AKA Whipped Peter—who is the subject of one of the most haunting photos in American history.