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Academy Members Plotting To Keep Will Smith From Being Nominated For New Film, Emancipation

Will Smith’s fall from grace seems to be reaching its end. It’s been over six months since what was perhaps the most talked about moment in Pop culture this spring. The Oscars became highlighted due to the newly designated Best Actor slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage in front of millions. Both parties have spoken on it in some form and have taken steps to put it behind them. And although some seemed to have moved on from the incident, some Academy members have reportedly not forgotten the night’s embarrassment.  

Following the shameful occurrence on March 27, outlets widely reported on Will Smith’s significant blowback in Hollywood. As a result, many of the new Academy Award-winning actor’s projects were said to be in limbo. However, that appears to be reaching its end. The Philadelphia native’s latest major motion picture trailer has been released.

Emancipation, one of the films that suffered from delays after the Will Smith-Chris Rock controversy, has been given a release date of December 2 in theaters. However, the Antoine Fuqua film will only have a limited release for one week in theaters before receiving a wider release on Apple+ TV on December 9. The news comes after a report from revealed that after the controversy, Apple pushed the film’s release to some time in 2023.  

According to IMDB, the historical thriller will also star actors Ben Foster, Mustafa Shakir, Charmaine Bingwa, and Michael Luwoye from Broadway’s Hamilton. In Emancipation, Will Smith stars as Peter, a slave who escapes hoping to join the Union Army in the North. It is a true story based on a man named Gordon, who became known as “Whipped Peter” due to a photograph depicting the brutal scars of being whipped by slave owners.

In addition to Emancipation, Will Smith was tied to other films such as the thriller Fast And Loose, which was to debut on Netflix and the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise. But both were reported to be placed on hold. However, Sony Chairman Tom Rothman told Deadline that news of the upcoming Bad Boys film being in jeopardy was “inaccurate” as it was still being developed.

News of Will Smith’s latest movie’s release date is good news for the actor as it falls within the submission period for the upcoming 2023 Oscars. The Academy recently announced Sunday, March 12, 2023, as the date for the ceremony, along with key dates for the submission process. Academy members can then begin voting for a period of 5 days in January on nominations.

However, although film studios seem to be lifting the seeming ban on Will Smith, the incident is still fresh on the minds of some Academy members. According to a survey led by The Hollywood Reporter, a few feel he should be considered for a Best Actor nod depending on his performance, despite the debacle. But many beg to differ, claiming that he should be “shunned” for his actions. However, they do offer grace to the many other cast and crew members involved in the film and state they should not be penalized.



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