Entertainment: Will Smith's new film Emancipation SPLITS the Academy as some refuse to nominate the actor

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Actor Will Smith continues to tread on thin ice as some Academy Award voters refuse to support him in his new film 'Emancipation' after he infamously slapped Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards.

Smith, 54, plays the lead in the upcoming Apple TV drama that features Smith during the Civil War era as a runaway slave. The movie will be released in December, which makes it eligible to be nominated for the 95th Academy Award season.

Some voters refuse to back Smith after his immature stunt earlier this year when he rushed to the stage to slap Rock after the comedian and actor insulted Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia.

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'Would I vote for Will Smith? Not a chance,' a member of the executive branch of voters told The Hollywood Reporter.

'Heavy sigh. No chance I would vote for him,' another added.

Others suggested Smith's nomination for an award would be an 'embarrassment' to the Academy.

'Nominating Will Smith would be a slap in the face to the Academy,' a member of the music branch of voters said.

Smith has apologized multiple times for his actions on stage in March and said his behavior was 'unacceptable and inexcusable.'

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Most voters were snarky in their responses in supporting Smith while one suggested the seasoned actor invest in 'anger management' support.

'Will Smith should have been asked to take part in an Academy-mandated anger-management program before being readmitted or having his work considered for awards,' one member said. 'Apple, of course, can do whatever they wish, but the Academy should not feel compelled to buy into the circus that will surround this project.'

Another added: 'No chance I would vote for him. However, I support the release. 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.'

Others voiced their concerns with supporting Smith but suggested the work of those involved with the film shouldn't suffer because of the actor's poor decision.

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'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,' one member of the directors branch of voters said.

'Re: Will? I don't know. He did something terrible. He apologized. We have to allow people to grow and learn and atone.'

A member of the executive branch of voters added: 'I feel compassion for the producers and other creatives on the movie, who are essentially collateral damage of Smith’s actions, and I’m not sure that burying a movie, like 'Batgirl,' is a victim-free solution. So if Apple thinks it best to let the marketplace of ideas sort this out, it’s really their call.

'As to voting for him, I really can’t imagine it. It’s an embarrassment to the Academy that he wasn’t thrown out of the building forthwith, and I’d be shocked if that moment won’t persist as an award disqualifier for a long time.'

Meanwhile, some suggested that Smith's acting and the movie's production will determine whether or not it will get their vote.

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'In terms of voting for the film and his performance, I think it depends,' one member of the documentary voting branch said. 'I have to see the film first. I’ve heard the film is good, which should be rewarded if deservedly so.

'But overall, I think all of this depends on whether there are some apologies and humble-pie eaten during the film’s release and potential awards campaign. He can’t pretend the slap never happened; thus, how will it be addressed? I think it depends on how he handles it all.'

Another member of the sound branch of voters suggested that voters weigh in their opinions based on talent - suggesting if people are offended by Smith's actions then they should hold their vote or not watch the movie.

'The Academy Awards are to honor excellence in individual categories, not to punish people,' the member said. 'If Will Smith's performance is the best, he should win.'

Smith didn't issue his first apology to Rock until a day after the award ceremony on March 28.

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'Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,' he wrote on Instagram. 'My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

'I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.'

Shortly after slapping Rock, Smith won the best actor award for his 2021 film 'King Richard.'

He was later seen leaving the Academy Awards smiling and dancing at an after party. The seasoned actor was later banned from the Academy Awards for 10 years.

Meanwhile, Smith seems to be shying away from the controversy by posting comedic videos of himself on Instagram. One of his latest was of him belly dancing while outside in Ecuador.

Smith recently took a video of himself belly dancing © Provided by Daily Mail Smith recently took a video of himself belly dancing He showed off his moves while on a trip to Ecuador © Provided by Daily Mail He showed off his moves while on a trip to Ecuador Read more

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