Actor Will Smith is already receiving a chilly reception from Oscar voters for his role in the hotly anticipated film “Emancipation.”
Many Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences members say they’ll never support him after his infamous slapping of Chris Rock, a report said Tuesday.
Apple plans to release the Smith-led Civil War drama on its streaming service in December – less than a year after Smith stormed the stage to confront over a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The release window makes “Emancipation” eligible for consideration in the current awards season.
But many Oscars voters surveyed by The Hollywood Reporter said they are wary of supporting Smith for a “best actor” nod or any other accolades after the incident.
“Would I vote for Sm ith? NO F–KING WAY,” Lawrence David Foldes, a member of producers branch of Academy voters, told the outlet.
“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,” Foldes added.
“Heavy sigh. No chance I would vote for him,” an unnamed member of the executives’ branch quipped about Smith.
“Would I vote for Will Smith? Right after I vote for Trump,” added a member of the marketing/public relations branch.”
Another voter put their stance more simply.
“F–k him. So, no,” an anonymous member of the marketing/public relations voting branch said.
The Post has reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple faced a major conundrum in how to handle “Emancipation’s” release after shelling out $120 million for the film’s distribution rights. The tech giant’s executives reportedly considered the drama a surefire Oscars contender prior to “The Slap.”
As recently as last month, Apple was having internal debates over whether to release the movie this year or delay it until 2023 due to concerns Smith’s involvement could tarnish the company’s reputation with the Academy.
Smith slapped Rock after he made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith had been open about her struggle with the hair loss condition alopecia.
Smith won the best actor Oscar for his work in the movie “King Richard” just minutes after the slap. He later apologized for his actions and resigned from the Academy. Additionally, he is barred from attending any of the Academy’s events for the next 10 years.
Some Oscars voters were more charitable in their remarks toward Smith, noting that the movie production involved many crew members who deserve to be recognized.
“Stopping the release of a film because its star did something offensive hurts the entire production and the hundreds of people who worked on it,” a voter in the sound branch said. “Don’t watch if you are so offended. Don’t vote for Smith if you are so offended. That is everyone’s right.”
Meanwhile, others said Apple should’ve shelved the movie entirely after Smith’s incident.
“Smith embarrassed the Academy, his peers and people of color so badly with that reckless behavior that I will not vote for him no matter what, and Apple should not release the film for Academy or other consideration,” another voter said.
“Emancipation” drew applause from audience members during a special screening hosted by the NAACP in October. The film stars Smith The drama stars Smith as a runaway slave who later joins the Union Army and fights back against his oppressors.
“Emancipation” will hit theaters on Dec. 2 and be available for streaming a week later on Dec. 9.