A quarter of a century ago, Captain Will Smith. Steven Hiller was “a little anxious to get there and yell his ass at ET” and save Earth from the alien invaders in Independence Day. In 2021, the actor paid for it in a less dramatic but just as cool way: he paid a reported $ 100,000 to help pay for the July 4 fireworks display in New Orleans.
The city’s annual municipal exhibition had been in jeopardy due to a lack of funding and, after having to cancel amid the pandemic in 2020, the outlook was bleak that it would return this year.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell noted Smith’s gesture in a tweet today, saying, “A fireworks display produced by ‘Go 4th on the River’ will take place in New Orleans along the banks of the Mississippi River at 9 pm on Sunday, July 4, 2021. The fireworks were made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook.
A fireworks display produced by “Go 4th on the River” will take place in New Orleans along the banks of the Mississippi River at 9 pm on Sunday, July 4, 2021🎆🎉
The gift of the city’s 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 in New Orleans to film Emancipation, a runaway slave thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua that Apple previously bought on a record deal worth about $ 120 million after a bidding battle in the virtual Cannes market last year. The photo was originally to be filmed in Georgia, but Smith and Fuqua moved it to NOLA in protest at the passage of a Georgia law that many believe is aimed at suppressing voters.
“We cannot in conscience provide financial support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws designed to restrict voter access,” Smith and Fuqua said in a joint statement in April.