The city’s annual municipal exposure had been compromised due to a lack of funds and – after having to cancel amid the pandemic in 2020 – prospects were grim for its return this year.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell today called out Smith’s gesture in a tweet, saying, “A fireworks display produced by ‘Go 4th on the River’ will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, 2021. The city fireworks giveaway was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, as well as his company Westbrook.
A fireworks display produced by “Go 4th on the River” will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, 2021🎆🎉
The city’s fireworks donation was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, with his company Westbrook👏⚜️ pic.twitter.com/oWI8b8YOap
– Maire LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) July 2, 2021
Smith is in New Orleans to film Emancipation, a runaway slaves thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua that Apple pre-purchased in a record-breaking deal worth around $ 120 million after a bidding battle in the Cannes virtual market l ‘last year. The photo was originally supposed to be shot in Georgia, but Smith and Fuqua transferred it to NOLA to protest Georgia’s passage of a law that many say is aimed at suppressing voters.
“We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive election laws designed to restrict voter access,” Smith and Fuqua said in a joint statement in April.