"Emancipation" Producer Apologizes For Bringing "Whipped Peter" Picture To Premiere

Joey McFarland has apologized for bringing a picture of “Whipped Peter” to the premiere of "Emancipation."

BYCole Blake
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Joey McFarland, a producer for Emancipation, has apologized for bringing the original photograph of “Whipped Peter” to the film’s premiere. The image shows the wounds of an escaped slave and helped turn white Northerners against slavery.

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

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Joey McFarland attends the New York screening of "Meadowland" directed by Reed Morano with Olivia Wilde hosted by Martin Scorsese on November 23, 2015 at MOMA - Celeste Bartos Theater in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Cinedigm)

He further wrote: “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.”

In the film, Will Smith plays a character that is based on the real, “Whipped Peter." He says the character, in particular, was a big reason he chose to work on the movie.

“This is a film about the heart of a man. What could be called the first viral image,” Smith explained, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Cameras had just been created, and the image of whipped Peter went around the world. It was a rallying cry against slavery, and this was a story that exploded and blossomed in my heart that I wanted to be able to deliver to you in a way that only Antoine Fuqua could deliver.”

Antoine Fuqua directed the film. His other credits include Training Day, The Equalizer, and more.

Emancipation is playing in select theaters before it hits AppleTV+ on December 9, 2022. It is Will Smith's first major role since slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Check out Joey McFarland’s full apology below.


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About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.