Oscar voters are boycotting Will Smith due to his “Slapgate” controversy.
The 54-year-old actor’s portrayal in his latest film “Emancipation,” in which he plays a runaway slave during America’s Civil War era, has split Academy Award nominees, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While some claim they will never vote for Smith because he slapped Chris Rock, 57, at this year’s 94th Academy Awards, others think his performance should be the only factor in any nomination choice.
Apple intends to release “Emancipation” on its streaming service in December, less than a year after Smith stormed the stage to slap Rock over a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 51, who suffers from alopecia.
Later, when accepting his best actor award for his portrayal in “King Richard,” he sobbed on stage.
Because of the release date, the picture will be eligible for consideration for the 95th Academy Awards in 2023.
Lawrence David Foldes, a member of the Academy’s producers branch, told The Hollywood Reporter, “Would I vote for Smith? NO F****** WAY.
His repugnant violent outburst and pitiful, sniveling ‘acceptance’ speech, which were seen by millions of people, should disqualify him from consideration and reward from AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) members for life.
“Heavy sigh,” commented one of the board members, speaking anonymously to The Hollywood Reporter. I would never vote for him.”
“Would I vote for Will Smith?” asked another. “Right after I vote for Trump,” remarked one voter critic, while another added, “F*** him.” So, no.”
“Hundreds of people worked on that picture, and they shouldn’t be penalized,” another stated of “Emancipation.”
“In terms of being a contender, if it’s well-received, well-done, and deserving, it should be given a chance and let the people decide.”
“In response to Will? I’m not sure. He committed a heinous crime. He expressed regret. We must allow people to mature, learn, and atone.”
Smith has apologized numerous times for slapping Rock on stage in March. He has contacted the comic, stating his attack was “inappropriate” and “inexcusable.”