A producer of the Will Smith movie “Emancipation” brought a photo of an enslaved man to the premiere.
Joey McFarland showed on the red carpet the historical image that inspired the plot of the film.
He told Variety that he wanted to bring a “part” of the man to the event, prompting a backlash online.
A producer of Will Smith’s new film “Emancipation” sparked backlash after he brought a photograph of an enslaved man to the film’s London premiere on Wednesday.
speaking with variety on the red carpet, Joey McFarland showed off the landmark image and explained why he felt he needed to bring it to the premiere. The publication reports that the image is called “The Scourged Back” and inspired the plot of the film.
As Insider previously reported, “Emancipation” tells the story of a slave named Peter (played by Smith) who flees a plantation in Louisiana after being nearly murdered.
“This is the original photograph from 1863,” McFarland told reporters as he held up the image. “I wanted a part of Peter to be here tonight.”
According to the metropolitan museum, the portrait depicts a runaway slave named Gordon whose back was scarred after severe whipping. He was taken at a Union soldier camp along the Mississippi River, where the man had taken refuge after escaping.
“My love of history, my love of truth, my love of larger than life people who made an impact not just on some people’s lives, but on the world, it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth fighting for.” worth preserving,” he said. “That’s what I sought to do.”
“It’s a lesson,” McFarland added. “We have to take the past into account.”
The producer, known for his work on “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Papillon,” also said very few artifacts and photographs from the story have been preserved or spared. He said he has taken it upon himself to build a collection that he plans to donate when he dies for “educational purposes.”
However, not everyone agreed with McFarland’s reasoning for showing the photograph.
rebecca wigginsproducer and writer, responded to McFarland’s tweet from Variety, noting that he had called the individual “Peter” and not “Gordon.”
“Did you just call the man “peter”? How disrespectful and embarrassing that he took it out of his pocket! Gordon “was given the name ‘Whipped Peter’ from the hideous scars on his back from the constant whipping he received during his enslavement.” He bragged about owning Gordon until he dies?” Wiggins wrote.
Another Twitter user he also noted the name McFarland used for the man and said his “slavers called him ‘Peter’ because they refused to use his birth name.”
“The way we fight for empathy and humanity, but still fail to achieve the goal, is very heartbreaking and exhausting,” they added.
culture writer Delia Harrington he also criticized McFarland’s action. She tweeted in response to Variety that there is “no reason” for the producer to have the collection. “He doesn’t have to wait until his death to donate them or (!) return them to his relatives,” she wrote. “If he believes so much in preserving and learning history, he can use his funds, but he doesn’t need to own the items.”
Joey McFarland did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Read the original article at Well-informed person