Hollywood power couple, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith reportedly sold a minority share of their media company Westbrook to TV and film heavyweights Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer.
The two former Disney executives paid $60 million for the stake in Westbrook and will now have 10% of the company that put out Netflix’s#### series Cobra Kai.
Valued at $600 million, Westbrook also was the company behind “King Richard,” a biopic about Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard. Smith starred as the leading dad in the flick.
Two big projects connected to Westbrook are “Emancipation” and “Bel-Air.”
Based on the horrifying picture called “Scourged Back,” “Emancipation” is a runaway slave thriller directed by former music video director Antoine Fuqua starring Will Smith.
The “Scourge Back” photograph is called a carte-de-visite and is housed in The Metropolitan Museum. The picture features Gordon, aka “Whipped Peter,” a runaway slave.
The picture was taken in March or April 1863 and was shot by McPherson & Oliver at a camp of Union soldiers along the Mississippi River after Gordan had escaped from a nearby plantation.
The portrait and Gordon’s narrative were featured in The Independent in May 1863 and then in the newspaper Harper’s Weekly on Saturday, July 4, 1863, as a special “Independence Day” feature.
The original image is 8.7 x 5.5 cm became so popular by abolitionists that they started to duplicate it and sell it as prints and caused countries like France to refuse to buy cotton from the South.
The film dramatizes the trauma Whipped Peter experienced at the hands of his masters, John and Bridget Lyons.
“Bel-Air” is a dramatization of Smith’s#### NBC sitcom, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Will Smith was moved to make this a significant production after seeing the viral version on the internet.