Oscar voters shared their strong opinions when asked about whether they would vote Will Smith for an acting award for his role in the new Apple’s film “Emancipation.”
Dozens of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made their thoughts clear about the idea of voting for Smith for a 2023 acting award less than a year after the he slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards show, The Hollywood Reporter reported in a piece published Tuesday.
“I think more time should go by before Will Smith is considered for any award,” one member shared. “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.”
“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,” another member shared. “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.”
“No chance I would vote for him,” one member explained. “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.”
Will Oscar voters even consider voting for Will Smith for EMANCIPATION less than a year after the slap? We asked dozens of them, and got a range of responses, such as: “We have to allow people to grow,” “No chance,” “F*** him” https://t.co/TWH7K9sAMk
— Scott Feinberg @ NYFF (@ScottFeinberg) October 4, 2022
One member of the producers branch, Lawrence David Foldes, answered when asked if he would vote for Smith,”NO F***ING WAY.”
“His shameful violent outburst and pathetic sniveling ‘acceptance’ diatribe witnessed by millions — and his blatant disrespect of the Academy — should preclude him from any consideration and reward from AMPAS members for life.” Foldes said.
But not everyone was one-hundred percent against the idea of voting for the “Men In Black” star. One member shared that they “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.”
“Hundreds of people worked on that film, and they shouldn’t be penalized,” another member of the Academy shared. “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. Re: Will? I don’t know. He did something terrible. He apologized. We have to allow people to grow and learn and atone.”
While another member said simply, “Nominating Will Smith would be a slap in the face to the Academy.”