Will Smith Pays $100,000 for New Orleans Fireworks Show
Will shelled out nearly $100,000 to help the Crescent City fund their annual Independence Day fireworks show over the Mississippi River, reported local New Orleans news outlet 4WWL on Saturday (July 3). The rapper-actor's generous donation saved the event from not happening. Smith, who has been in the New Orleans area shooting a new film called Emancipation, put up the bread for the show after finding out New Orleans didn’t plan to do fireworks this year due to monetary issues. The fireworks show did not take place last year either due to a cancelation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While he [Will Smith] and the production have been in town preparing to film, [he] has fallen in love with the City of New Orleans and wanted the citizens and visiting tourists to enjoy the annual celebratory firework display,” city officials said in the statement.
Will's hefty donation covered permits, public safety, equipment, fireworks and more. “When the folks called me, they said Will Smith wants an A-plus show. I said, well, he’s getting an A-plus-plus show,” said David Spear, of AFX Pro, LLC, the company who put on the fireworks display and others throughout the South.
Will was initially taping the new film in Georgia, but moved production to New Orleans after Georgia passed a controversial new voting law that many argued was put in place to stop Black people from casting their ballots.