Will Smith Pays for 4th of July Fireworks Display in New Orleans

After learning that New Orleans could possibly cancel its Fourth of July fireworks display for a second straight year, Will Smith offered to foot the bill.

Will Smith attends the "Concussion" New York premiere.

Image via Getty/Jim Spellman/WireImage

Will Smith attends the "Concussion" New York premiere.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Will Smith paid roughly $100,000 for a Fourth of July fireworks display over the Mississippi River in New Orleans. 

After city officials were forced to cancel last year’s fireworks because of the pandemic, financial woes threatened the annual display for a second straight year. That is, until the Independence Day actor and his Westbrook Entertainment group saved the day. Mayor LaToya Cantrell took to Twitter Friday to praise Smith for his generosity. 

A fireworks display produced by "Go 4th on the River" will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9pm Sunday, July 4, 2021🎆🎉
The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook👏⚜️ pic.twitter.com/oWI8b8YOap

— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) July 2, 2021

Smith is currently in New Orleans working on the Antoine Fuqua-directed film Emancipation, which was initially being filmed in Georgia before production was moved to Louisiana after the state passed new restrictive voting laws.

“At this moment in time, the Nation is coming to terms with its history and is attempting to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice,” Smith and Fuqua said in a joint statement. “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.” 

The MLB pulled this month’s All-Star Game from Atlanta. Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, which has its corporate headquarters in Atlanta, called the law “unacceptable” and commented on how the “entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie,” citing the voter fraud misinformation incessantly spewed by Donald Trump. The Atlanta-based Coca Cola company also publicly expressed its displeasure in the voter suppression measure.

Emancipation tells the true story of a runaway slave named Peter who escapes from a Louisiana plantation and endures a harrowing journey filled with treacherous swamps and cold-blooded hunters to make it to the Union Army. 

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