Will Smith Understands If His Fans Aren’t Ready To Support His Work

Credit: Oscars 2022

Will Smith’s Career Will Always Be Haunted

The saga of Will Smith and Chris Rock will never be forgotten in the history of the prestigious event. The former opted against pressing charges and has moved on from the incident, with Rock even using the slapping incident as material in his comedy. However, for Will Smith, it will forever haunt his career in a bad way. Once considered one of the more likable actors on the planet, the Oscar winner’s career has banked on his good guy persona; however, that troubling moment opened pandora’s box to issues that are going on in the 54-year-old’s life. We won’t dive into all of the documented moments that highlight a crack in the marriage between Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will, though it’s clear that’s the underlying reason why the actor slapped Chris Rock.

Smith has since apologized for the moment after disappearing from the public eye for a couple of months, though the reception to his public apology was mixed. It didn’t help that Smith used the apology video to advertise Jaden’s water company, which made the whole thing feel disingenuous. Since that video, Smith hasn’t been in the public eye much; however, the Oscar winner is gearing up for his next film, Emancipation, Antoine Fuqua’s latest feature that also stars Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, and Gilbert Owuor. Emancipation seems like a prime candidate for an Oscar run, though the biggest issue is that there’s simply no buzz for the upcoming film. Why?

Credit: Emancipation

Will Smith Understands That People Aren’t Ready To Move On From The Oscar Incident

Well, that’s primarily due to Will Smith. Apple decided to hold back the festival run that the film was initially supposed to go on before the incident. There’s a struggle to advertise Will Smith when that moment is still raw in people’s minds. The actor himself understands that fans may not want to see him back on the big screen so soon, “I completely understand that if someone is not ready, I would respect that and allow them their space not to be ready,” Smith told journalist Kevin McCarthy. “My deepest concern is my team… At this point, that’s what I’m working for.”

There’s no telling how the upcoming Apple TV+ film will do. Smith is banned from attending the Oscar event for ten years, though he’s still eligible to be nominated and win one should the Academy feel he’s earned it. Politically speaking, that would be a terrible move to nominate the actor following the huge backlash at the 2022 Oscar event; Many criticized the organization for doing nothing following the slap and considered the punishment a slap on the wrist.

Credit: Emancipation

Nevertheless, the entire film will likely be affected as well. This is pure speculation at this point, but the chances of Antoine Fuqua, Ben Foster, or the entire film itself gaining any nominations (if it’s really good, of course) are slim because of their association with Smith. Of course, never say never, as Emancipation might be so darn good that it does garner nominations, though it’s been noted how political the Oscars can be in the past. Hollywood is genuinely a political beast.

Nevertheless, the reception for Emancipation should be exciting. The film will have a one-week run in theaters before making its official debut on Apple TV+ on December 9th, so we won’t get a great idea of how much of a draw Smith is these days; however, the feedback and viewership of Emancipation should be a telling sign on whether audiences are ready to watch Will Smith onscreen again. Smith’s actions were bad at the Oscars, but he shouldn’t be haunted forever, though this feels way too early for him to return to the big screen.

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