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Will Smith's film Emancipation splits Oscars Academy Award voters after Chris Rock slap

Will Smith continues to divide audiences after he controversially slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, with some Academy Award voters now insisting they won't support his new film Emancipation.

Will, 54, plays the lead role in the upcoming Apple TV drama, which focuses on the story of 'Whipped Peter' who was enslaved but managed to escape a Louisiana plantation before making his way to join the Union army.

The film will be released in December, making it eligible for a nomination for the 95th Academy Awards.

Will was subsequently banned from attending the awards ceremony for 10 years following the incident involving 57-year-old Chris.

The Hollywood actor slapped the comedian who had made a joke about Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia.

Oscars voters are now said to be divided over whether to support Will's upcoming film.

Will Smith famously slapped Chris Rock (

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

"The world can’t un-see the slap, and that is a heavy burden for Mr. Smith, his family and the Academy to carry," a member of the actors branch of voters told The Hollywood Reporter.

Another added: "I think more time should go by before Will Smith is considered for any award. However wonderful he may be in the film, it will be hard to watch it and not continually think of the slap."

Others suggested his 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.

Apple TV's Emancipation is eligible for an Oscar (

Image:

Apple Tv)

But some people believe the actor should be given a chance.

A member of the actors branch said: "I would consider voting for him if he is great in something."

While another said the "hundreds of people" who worked on the film shouldn't be penalised because of Will's actions, adding that the film should be given a shot if it is well made.

The Mirror has contacted representatives of the Academy Awards for comment.

Will has apologised on multiple occasions for his actions back in March and said his behaviour was "unacceptable" and "inexcusable".

The actor is currently banned from attending the awards ceremony

Taking to Instagram, Will wrote: "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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."

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