Will Smith pays $100,000 to cover New Orleans' Independence Day fireworks

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Will Smith showed his generous side on Sunday, as he paid a staggering $100,000 (£72,000) to cover the cost of New Orleans' Independence Day fireworks.

The star is currently in Louisiana working on his new film Emancipation, and decided to get involved in the 4th of July celebrations after learning that officials hadn't planned a 2021 fireworks display due to financial constraints.

The display had also been cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Smith was determined to ensure that the Go 4th on the River event would return to the Mississippi River this year so, alongside his production company, he opted to pick up the tab - estimated to be around $100,000.

"The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook, who is in production on the feature film Emancipation here in New Orleans," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. "The City also wishes to acknowledge the support of the Riverfront Marketing Group for helping to make the event happen."

In Emancipation, Smith will play a slave who escaped plantation life after he was whipped to within an inch of his life and braved the swamps of Louisiana before joining the Union Army.

A photo taken of his scars became known as The Scourged Back, and was published by The Independent and Harper's Weekly in 1863, as proof of the cruelty and barbarity of slavery in America.

Filming was originally due to start in Georgia, but Smith moved production to Louisiana after Georgia passed a new law that prompted a federal lawsuit stating that the overhaul had been intended to restrict equal access to voting.

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