Will Smith helps New Orleans celebrate Independence Day by paying for fireworks display

Actor is currently filming his new project in the city

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 05 July 2021 07:04
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U.S. celebrates July 4 despite missing vaccination target

Twenty-five years after his Independence Day character saved planet Earth from alien invaders, Will Smith made a brilliant gesture of his own, by helping to save the New Orleans 4 July fireworks display.

The event was cancelled due to the pandemic last year, and was facing cancellation for a second time due to a lack of funds.

However, New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell cited Smith as the reason this year’s fireworks were able to go ahead.

“A fireworks display produced by ‘Go 4th on the River’ will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9pm Sunday, 4 July 2021,” he tweeted.

“The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook.”

Smith is currently in town filming his new movie Emancipation, a thriller about a runaway slave, with director Antoine Fuqua.

In April, production was moved to New Orleans from its original location of Georgia, in protest of the state’s recently enacted law restricting voting access.

“We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,” Smith and Fuqua said in a joint statement at the time.

“The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting.”

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