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“No f—king way!”: Academy Voters Overwhelmingly Deny Voting For Will Smith Starring ‘Emancipation’ For Oscars After Fans Call it as Desperate Oscar Bait

emanicipation for oscars

Apple, the distributor of the most recent best picture Oscar winner, Coda, announced on Monday that it will release Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, starring the most recent best actor Oscar winner, Will Smith, in 2022 rather than 2023, sparking widespread speculation about how representatives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) will respond to the film and its central achievements.

Will Smith Emancipation
Will Smith in Emancipation (2022)

Oscar voters will, of course, be reviewing the feature less than a year after Smith’s infamous slap at Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, which caused the Academy significant embarrassment and resulted in Smith’s departure from the group and a decade-long ban from attending the ceremony.

Also Read: “I’ll be supporting Will Smith and Emancipation. I never canceled him”: Fans Root For Will Smith; Would Emancipation Be The Disgraced Actor’s Comeback?

Responses for voting Will Smith for the awards

Responses ranged from mild to severe. Most members stated that their sentiments towards Smith will not prevent them from watching Emancipation — which will be released exclusively in select theatres for one week on December 2 before reaching Apple TV+ on December 9 — or voting for those involved with it. What about voting for Smith? Let’s just say that many people aren’t ready to forgive and forget. Here are their opinions.

Will Smith
Will Smith’s Emancipation doesn’t gain fans’ support

Members of the actor branch stated that: 

“I think more time should go by before Will Smith is considered for any award. I’m surprised Emancipation is being released, but I assume it’s for financial reasons, as well as hoping for award nominations. However wonderful he may be in the film, it will be hard to watch it and not continually think of the slap. It will be really hard to judge the performance on merit, and by extension the whole film.”

While another member of the same branch stated in his favor that:

“I have no reaction to the Apple film getting released — frankly, I’m getting tired of the slave theme for now. But yes, I would consider voting for him if he is great in something.”

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

You may also like: Is Oscars 2023 Considering Chris Rock as Host After Will Smith Slap Controversy?

While many members of the director branch opted to not vote for Will Smith despite the performance of the film, they stated that:

“No chance I would vote for him. However, I support the release of Emancipation. We need some good films out there, which I am assuming and hope this is. This is likely coming from Smith — the decision to release it now, I mean — and it shows the same hubris and arrogance that had him go dancing after the Oscars.”

While continuing on this another branch stated that:

“Will Smith should have been asked to take part in an Academy-mandated anger-management program before being readmitted or having his work considered for awards. Apple, of course, can do whatever they wish, but the Academy should not feel compelled to buy into the circus that will surround this project.”

One of the most prevalent responses was that they would not vote for Smith while claiming that the film, which included the hard work of many people who did not slap Chris Rock, deserved to be viewed.

Will Smith’s reputation tarnished after the Oscars fiasco

The Oscars fiasco started when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the Oscars stage after the comedian joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness. Will Smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of King Richard and issued a public apology the next day, but the incident caused Smith to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Will Smith accepting an Oscar shortly after slapping Chris Rock.
Will Smith accepts an Oscar shortly after slapping Chris Rock.

Also Read: Why Fans Are Now Asking For Will Smith To Make A Full-Blown Hollywood Comeback

Smith’s reputation dropped in the months following the slap, and his upcoming film projects were either put on hold or abandoned entirely. He took to YouTube to answer fan queries about not apologizing to Rock in his Oscar speech. While he indicated that he reached out to Rock personally, Smith stated that “the message that came back is that he’s not ready to communicate and that when he is, he will reach out.”

Emancipation will be released in theatres on December 2 and will be available on Apple TV on December 9.

Source: CBR

Written by Rishav Deb Roy

Rishav Deb Roy is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Cost and Management Accounts from Chandigarh University and he is also a budding Chartered Accountant aspirant. He has always been passionate about writing and has been honing his skills since a very early age. He uses his writing skills to help businesses create compelling content that engages and informs their audiences. Rishav says he has a passion to research on many things, especially anything related to pop culture. He’s been following them since a very early age and is eager to work on them. Currently, he is working as a Content Writer at Fandomwire.