The Academy Awards members are reportedly split in making the decision whether Will Smith should be nominated for an Oscar or not.
The 54-year-old actor has been praised for his “brilliant” performance in the 2022 historical action thriller Emancipation which will air on Apple TV+ in December.
While the Hollywood legend would be nominated for his role in the much-anticipated film without a second doubt under normal circumstances, some Academy members refuse to give him a chance to take home the prestigious award after his notorious Chris Rock slap.
During the 94th Academy Awards, Smith infamously stormed the Academy Awards stage only to slap the presenter in the face after the latter made a joke about his wife’s alopecia.
Now, some voters believe Smith should have no business being nominated for an Oscar after his “immature” actions during the last year’s event.
Others, however, suggested that the actor’s personal actions should not be allowed to impact everyone else who worked hard on making the movie happen.
“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,” one member said.
“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.”
Another said they would also not vote for him even even though they support the release of the movie.
“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,” they said.
A member of the directors’ branch of voters added: “Hundreds of people worked on that film, and they shouldn’t be penalized. As far as it being a contender, if it’s well-received, well done and deserving, it should be allowed to be given its shot and let the voters decide.”
Another executive branch voter expressed their “compassion for the producers and other creatives” while admitting that burying the movie just because of Smith’s action would not be a victim-free solution.
“As to voting for him, I really can’t imagine it. It’s an embarrassment to the Academy that he wasn’t thrown out of the building forthwith, and I’d be shocked if that moment won’t persist as an award disqualifier for a long time,” the voter added.
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