It was the slap that shook America, and likely what the 2022 Academy Awards will likely be remembered for. While Will Smith will be remembered in infamy for slapping Chirs Rock, he also joined the list of 2022 Oscar winners for his performance in Kind Richard. Now, his next movie, Emancipation, which just released its first trailer, could be in awards contention for next year, and Academy voters have some thoughts.
In an extensive report done by THR, many voters from all over the film industry were asked if they would consider voting for Smith come Oscar season. The responses range from cautiously willing to aggressively against the idea. From the actor’s branch, one voter said:
Emancipation had its first advanced screening a few days ago, and people are saying good things about it. Many who saw the film were posting that it is “powerful” and “inspiring.” Overall, the consensus of the movie seems to be positive. Some voters in the article did say that if the film and performance were phenomenal, they would consider voting for it, like this member of the music branch:
Smith recently posted about Emancipation, which is on the 2023 movie schedule for early in the year. He said this movie was the “hardest” one he’s worked on, and he gave a shout-out to Apple for making it. However, even if the film and performance are phenomenal many Academy voters don’t want to consider Smith. Like Lawrence David Foldes, a member of the producer's branch, who said:
The King Richard actor has said sorry to Rock for the slap. However, Rock had a blunt response to Smith's apology. Many people involved with the Academy also gave blunt answers about if Smith should be considered for any awards this year. It will be interesting to see how this conversation evolves as award season gets started. You can read more of the many responses from Academy voters in THR’s story, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates on Emancipation, Will Smith, and the upcoming Oscar race.
Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.
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