'Emancipation' Producer Regrets Flaunting 'Whipped Peter' Photo At Movie Premiere

Joey McFarland, the producer of Emancipation, is apologizing for an unsavory decision he made at the film’s premiere last week.

Back on Nov. 30, the highly-anticipated film was screened at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, and Joey unveiled the original 19th-century photo that inspired the project: “Whipped Peter.”

The photo depicts the scarred back of a man named Peter, who escaped enslavement back in 1863. It notably “helped turn white Northerners against slavery,” according to History, and Emancipation chronicles Peter’s story.

Joey McFarland: “I’ve Been Collecting For A Very Long Time”

During a chat on the red carpet, Joey was asked how he “came to own the photo,” which he had on him.

“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863, and I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”

He went on to share that he took on the personal project to “build a collection for future generations.”

“It’s [sad] to say so many artifacts and photographs have not been preserved or curated or respected. And I took it upon myself to curate and build a collection for future generations. I’ve been collecting for a very long time, my collection will be donated at the end of my life for educational purposes, and it’s something I just want to give back.”

Twitter Has All The Smoke For Joey

Once the aforementioned clip began to circulate, social media users were rather stunned by the whole situation.

Many expressed how odd it was for Joey to “own” a “collection” of this sort.


Some users even equated Joey’s vibe to that of Dean Armitage in Get Out.

The situation was also compared to the “Black Museum” episode of Black Mirror.

Overall, the general consensus was that Joey should have kept his “collection” to himself.

McFarland Apologizes Over “Whipped Peter” Controversy

After catching so much backlash, Joey issued an apology through Instagram on Sunday.

He started off by expressing his regrets and explaining his true intentions. Joey also shared that he hopes the controversy doesn’t “distract from the film’s message.”

“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter tp the Emancipation premiere. My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today…I hope my actions don’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”

McFarland went on to say the photo “belong[s] to the world,” and he always planned to “find the right permanent home” for his collection.

“These photographs, which existed before me, will be around long after I am gone; they belong to the world. My goal has always been to find the right permanent home and make sure they are accessible, to honor their significance. And most importantly, that the individuals depicted in the photographs are remembered and their stories are told with the greatest dignity and respect.”

We should add that Joey was sure to disable comments on the post.

What do you think about the situation involving the “Whipped Peter” photo, and are you planning on watching Emancipation?

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