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Will Smith's Comeback

MovieWeb 12/29/2022 Grace Jordan
© Provided by MovieWeb

An error in judgment during a heated moment does not mean the Oscar-winning actor can not recover his fan base. Will Smith may have lost his temper with Chris Rock during the ceremony last year, but Variety reports that Smith’s fan base between the ages of 18-34 proves that the actor can put the incident behind him. AppleTV+ reports they are happy with streaming numbers for the star's latest film, Emancipation.

According to a mid-December survey conducted by Maru Group/Blue Omnibus, 29% of 18-34-year-olds say that their perception of Smith is more favorable than it was before the slap happened. The reason could be that the incident brought Smith to the forefront of the media and so many fans were more aware of his presence.

Smith made extensive efforts to take responsibility for his actions since the Oscars, starting with an apology to Chris Rock in a public statement the next day. The statement was shared on social media and followed by a Youtube apology in July in which Smith addressed his fans and spoke more about his feelings of remorse after the incident.

With many in the 18-34 age range, who constitute a large demographic of moviegoers, Smith’s behavior is no reason for those fans to stop watching his films or supporting his work. Emancipation, is now streaming on AppleTV+ and was released on time despite discussion that it could be pushed.

Related: Will Smith Says He 'Got Lost' While Filming Emancipation for AppleTV+

Smith Could Make an Oscar’s Comeback With Emancipation

While Will Smith is banned from physically attending the Academy Awards, it does not mean he can not receive one. Smith’s performance in Emancipation has received positive feedback from both fans and critics for his portrayal of Peter in the Antoine Fuqua-directed film.

It is almost inevitable that had last year's incident not occurred, Smith’s performance in Emancipation would be a shoo-in to be included. However, the slap creates a discussion about whether the Academy will award Smith that honor. If so, it will be Smith’s second nomination in a row, and his third overall, for best actor. If Smith wins, it will be his second Best Actor win, the first being for King Richard, which Smith gave a shaky acceptance speech for only minutes after the slap.

Even if Smith is not nominated, it is likely Emancipation could receive recognition in the form of a directing nomination for Antoine Fuqua and a best picture nomination for the film.

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