Will Smith 'completely understands' if people aren't ready see his new film after Oscars slap

Ahead of Will Smith's highly anticipated new film "Emancipation," the actor spoke with FOX 5 DC for the first time about his infamous Oscars slap that rocked the world.

During the interview, FOX 5 DC's Kevin McCarthy asked Smith about what his response to people who say they are not ready to see him in a new film.

"I completely understand that if...someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready," said Smith. 

Smith responded that his biggest concern is not letting the incident at the Oscars impact his co-stars on this new film.

"My deepest concern is my team, you know, Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career I think," Smith tells FOX 5. "The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don't penalize my team. So at this point, that's what I'm working for, that's what I'm hoping for."

Smith added, "I'm hoping that the material, the power of the film, the timeliness of the story, you know, I'm hoping that the good that can be done would open people's hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film."

You can hear Smith's full response about the Oscars slap controversy and the new film above.

"Emancipation" releases in select theaters on December 2, before being released on Apple TV+ on December 9.