‘Emancipation Producer Apologizes For Bringing Photo Of Man Who Escaped Slavery And Inspired Film To Premiere

‘Emancipation Producer Apologizes For Bringing Photo Of Man Who Escaped Slavery And Inspired Film To Premiere

Joey McFarland has apologized after sparking controversy for walking the red carpet at the Emancipation premiere as the slave character known as Peter who inspired the film.

"I sincerely apologize to anyone who offended me by bringing a photo of Peter to the ' Emancipation ' premiere," the Oscar-nominated producer said in an Instagram post on Sunday. "My goal was to honor this extraordinary man and remind the general public that his character not only brought about change in 1863, but continues to respond and contribute to change today."

The painting depicts a man named Peter who escaped slavery and has scars on his back from repeated whippings. The image was known as "Peter Beaten" and "The Executioner's Back".

After uncovering Peter's origin story with the help of diligent historians, I have spent the past few years working with Emancipation Creative Time to bring his story to life for audiences around the world to enjoy his heroism. by e-mail

During the research and development of Emancipation, I discovered portraits of overlooked and historically significant individuals whose stories also needed to be told. A portrait of Martin Delaney is on loan to the National Portrait Gallery and is currently on display. It's always been about handing over the photos to the appropriate agency, in consultation with the community, and I think there's no better time to start that process than now."

The Emancipation producer concluded his statement by saying: “These images that were there before me will be there when I'm gone, they belong to the world. My goal has always been to find the right permanent home and make sure it is. accessible, respecting its importance and above all, that the people in the photographs are remembered and their stories told with the utmost respect and dignity.

After her appearance at the Nov. 30 premiere, McFarland faced a barrage of criticism from online entertainment personalities, including #OscarsSoWhite creator April Rain and The Blacklist founder Franklin Leonard. Both expressed sadness and "disgust" at the producer's decision to show the photo, which the producer said in a video posted online brought "a piece of Peter" with him.

Leonard questioned the producer's keen interest and reasons for collecting artifacts related to enslaved Black Americans. “Why does the photo belong to you? Why did you bring him to a movie premiere if the goal was to keep him respectful? Do you want a piece of Peter here? Do you collect memories of slaves that will be given to you when you die? And what do you do with him, how many questions?" he wrote on Twitter at the time.

On the carpet before the film's Los Angeles premiere, McFarland told The Hollywood Reporter that images like Peter's were “very poorly maintained, preserved and protected. And so for the past two decades I have researched and acquired as many forgotten images and lost images as possible."

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