“Emancipation” producer Joey McFarland apologized for bringing a photograph of the enslaved man “Whipped Peter,” the inspiration for the movie, to the Los Angeles premiere.
“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the ‘Emancipation’ premiere,” McFarland wrote in a statement on his Instagram posted Sunday afternoon. “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.”
The producer faced backlash for carrying the original 1863 photograph of “Whipped Peter,” to the event and showing it off.
“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863. I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight,” he said at the premiere. “Sadly to say, so many artifacts and photographs have not been preserved or curated or respected. And I took it upon myself to curate and build a collection for future generations.”
Emancipation is Will Smith’s first movie release since the Oscars slap.