‘Emancipation’ Producer Apologizes for Bringing a Slave’s Photo to Film’s Premiere

Joey McFarland has issued an apology for coming to the premiere of his new movie, Emancipation, starring Will Smith,with the famous photo of the “Whipped Ptere” – a slave whose back was viciously scourged by the whips of slave masters.

“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the ‘Emancipation’ premiere,” McFarland wrote via Instagram. “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.”

Whipped Peter’s scourged back was taken during a medical exam at a Union Army encampment in Louisiana. And the premiere of the movie, McFarland explained that he “wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”

“After uncovering Peter’s origin story with help from diligent historians, I spent the last few years working with the Emancipation creative team in order to bring his story to life so worldwide audiences would have an opportunity to appreciate his heroism,” McFarland wrote. “I hope my actions didn’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”

This stirred major backlash, prompting his apology.

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