Will Smith Keeps Sharing Early Screenings Of Emancipation, This Time For The LA Lakers

Will Smith in Emancipation
(Image credit: Apple)

Months after Will Smith became the center of arguably the most viral moment in Oscar history by slapping Chris Rock on stage, the actor is getting back on the publicity saddle to get the word out about his next movie, Emancipation. Just days following Smith holding a private screening of the drama for the likes of Dave Chappelle and Tyler Perry, he has also shared the movie with the Los Angeles Lakers as well. 

Will Smith took to Instagram on Wednesday to commemorate meeting with the Lakers at their training facility to give a “sneak peek” of his latest film. Check it out: 

The Men in Black actor posed with the pro basketball team with a Smith jersey along with sharing another photo of the president of the team, Jeanie Buss. In the third slide of the social media post, a short video had Smith pointing out that the Lakers didn’t have a trophy in 1983 because his hometown team the Sixers took it home that year. 

In the post, Will Smith shared that he had a “GREAT convo” about Emancipation with the team and he’ll head next to see the Philadelphia 76ers. Smith’s mini private screening tour comes ahead of Emancipation hitting theaters on December 2 before becoming exclusively available to watch with an Apple TV+ subscription on December 9. 

The Emancipation trailer dropped early last month to showcase the Antoine Fuqua film, which will follow an enslaved man named Peter (Will Smith), who escapes a Louisiana plantation to the North, where he joins the Union Army. The dramatic thriller is based on the true story of “Gordon” or “Whipped Peter.” 

Prior to Will Smith's recent star-studded screenings, Emancipation was first shown at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 51st Annual Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. on October 1. While Smith’s strategy of promoting his latest movie thus far is unique, the actor is coming off his public controversy at the Oscars that led him to resign from the Academy

If the moment didn’t happen, Will Smith might be in the Oscar conversation once again for his role in Emancipation, but since the actor will not be able to attend the Academy Awards for the next 10 years, the chances of him scoring a Best Actor nomination seem slim. When it comes to the Will Smith movie receiving other accolades at the award show, a conversation between Oscar voters has risen around whether they would vote for the movie to a variety of reactions.  

The release and reception of Emancipation will be a good gauge of where the public is in regards to welcoming or keeping space between the actor following him publicly slapping Chris Rock in front of Hollywood’s biggest stars on a worldwide broadcast. Will Smith also has numerous upcoming projects, some of which have been placed on hold reportedly due to the Oscars incident. We’ll keep you updated as Smith continues to promote Emancipation

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.