The internet went meme crazy after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards earlier this year. After the event, Smith apologised to Rock over social media and was promptly banned from attending any further Academy events for the next 10 years. After the screening of his latest Apple TV+ movie Emancipation, fans are wondering if Will Smith will still be able to receive award nominations for the film.
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Story & Screening of Emancipation
After months of keeping out of the public eye, the Smith family have been spotted out and about looking completely at ease. Will Smith recently ventured out to the screening of Emancipation that was shown during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference to social impact leaders in Washington D.C. and even spoke to the crowd about it, saying:
“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down many films that were set in slavery. I never wanted to show us like that, you know, and then this picture came along. This is not a film about slavery. This is a film about freedom. This is a film about resilience. This is a film about faith. This is a film about the heart of a man.”
The film was inspired by photos taken of “Whipped Peter” in 1863 (an image of Peter’s bare back that contributed massively to the public opposition to slavery) and follows the story of his escape from slavery and everything he does after to survive in the swamps of Louisiana and outsmart the hunters that are trying to track him down. He is seen relying heavily on his wits, his unwavering faith and the deep love he holds for his family.
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Can Smith Still Receive Awards from the Academy
While Smith has been banned from any events relating to the Academy Awards, it is still possible for him to be nominated and even win an award in 2023 for Emancipation, though he would not be able to make an appearance to receive it. It is unclear whether Smith or Apple will try to campaign for his inclusion in the running of the already extremely competitive race for Best Actor between Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Hugh Jackman (The Son) and Brendan Fraser (The Whale).
Although it might be controversial, Will Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to receive any awards for Emancipation. In fact, he could still attend numerous other awards ceremonies, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards or the Golden Globes.
Emancipation is set to release in theatres on the 2nd of December and then again on the 9th of December on Apple TV+. Variety has said that Apple is hoping that by that point both the public and the industry will be less outraged about the actor’s lapse in judgement and will take a chance on what looks to be a very compelling film.
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What are your thoughts on the “Slapgate” incident and the story that Will Smith’s upcoming Emancipation film is trying to tell?