Celebrities showed up at ‘Emancipation’ screening to support Will Smith

Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry, Rihanna and others attended a private screening of the Oscar-winner's latest film.

Ahead of the world premiere of “Emancipation” in December, Will Smith gathered some of his close and famous friends for a private screening of the film, PEOPLE reported.

As theGrio previously reported, the upcoming film from Antoine Fuqua is one of the most highly anticipated of the year and the Academy Award-winning actor’s first film since his widely covered altercation with Chris Rock at the Oscars.

According to his official Instagram, Smith held a private screening of the film for a star-studded collection of friends, including Dave Chappelle and Tyler Perry.

In a selfie with Chappelle, Perry, Rihanna, Kenya Barris and A$AP Rocky, Smith wrote, “EPIC night!! Thanx for coming to see #Emancipation. Hope ya’ll enjoyed!!”

94th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet
Will Smith, at the 94th Annual Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, recently invited some famous friends to a screening of his latest film, “Emancipation.” (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

The film, as theGrio previously reported, is inspired by the 1863 “Harper’s Weekly” photos of “Whipped Peter” that would go on make a dramatic shift in the perception of slavery in the country, including “The Scourged Back.” The film follows Smith’s Peter, a man who escaped U.S. slavery in the 1800s.

The official description notes that Peter “relies on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom.” 

The NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus held a special screening of the film earlier this month in Washington, D.C. At the screening, Fuqua and Smith engaged in a conversation with Mary Elliott, the curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Check out the trailer:

“Emancipation” opens in U.S theaters on December 2, 2022, followed by a global premiere Dec. 9 on Apple TV+.

TheGrio daily entertainment writer Jared Alexander contributed to this article.

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