Members Of The Academy Weigh In On Whether Or Not They’ll Consider Voting For Will Smith For “Emancipation”

October 5, 2022 / Posted by:

As the final echoes from the Slap A Middle-Aged Man segment at this year’s Oscars softly fades into Hollywood’s history books, it seems Will Smith may be getting his comeback sooner rather than later. Well, honestly, I never thought he would 100% be out of commission because he’s Will Smith. Now, AppleTV + is preparing the world for Will’s turn in Antoine Fuqua‘s upcoming  Emancipation. The movie was supposed to come out in 2023, but AppleTV+ recently announced that it will come out later this year, which means it qualifies for the 2023 Oscars. But let’s not forget, as a consequence of his actions, Will is still banned from attending the Oscars ceremony for the next decade. But he can still be nominated. The Hollywood Reporter decided to do a little poll and asked Academy members if they’d cast a vote for Will.

According to THR, Emancipation will get a limited release in theaters on December 2 before it streams on AppleTV+ a week later. Emancipation is based on a true story and stars Will Smith as a slave who escapes the South and makes his way to the North where he joins the Union Army. In other words, it’s Oscar bait, and AppleTV+ wants a piece of that Oscar pie. But members of the Academy aren’t all ready to forgive and forget just yet.

[We] decided to go right to the voters to find out, surveying dozens from across the organization, including members of the actors branch, who will solely determine whether Smith should receive another best actor Oscar nomination, and members of the 16 other branches, who, if he does, would then join the members of the actors branch in determining whether he should receive another best actor Oscar. (All members get to weigh in on both rounds of best picture voting.)

One member from the actor’s branch said “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.” and I have to agree. Even when I’m watching old episodes on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air I’m nervous Will is going to snap for no reason and beat Geoffrey with his feather duster until I realize those episodes were recorded over thirty years again. The trauma! These sentiments were echoed by a member of the producer’s branch who said “In this climate, I don’t think Will will get a day pass. If he happens to get nominated, he’s a sitting duck — no one will book him to promote anything.” However, the true winner of this Slapgate debate team is another producer branch member Lawrence David Foldes who made it clear that Will Smith will not get his vote.

Would I vote for Smith? NO FUCKING 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.”

And here are more responses from other Academy members:

Member of actors branch: “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.”

Member of directors branch: “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.”

Member of directors branch: “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. Re: Will? I don’t know. He did something terrible. He apologized. We have to allow people to grow and learn and atone.”

And another member of the directors branch thinks that Will should be asked to complete an “Academy-mandated anger-management program” before being considered for an Oscar nomination. Well, if the Academy is going to force bad-behaving actors and filmmakers to undergo an anger-management class before they can be nominated for an Oscar, there wouldn’t be many actors and filmmakers to nominate!

Check out the teaser trailer for Emancipation below.

Pic: PA Images/INSTARimages/Cover Images

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