AceShowbiz - An NFT of Chadwick Boseman, which was included in gift bags for all Oscar nominees, is getting a redesign. The digital tribute to the late actor sparked backlash from fans who thought that it was both a slap in the face following the actor's loss to Anthony Hopkins and a "triggering reminder of his death."
On Monday, April 26, animator Andre Oshea, who created the artwork, issued a statement through his social media pages to address the outcry. He first explained his goal with the artwork, "I wanted to create a digital monument that embodied Chadwick's influence as a hero to all the Black kids everywhere while raising awareness about colon cancer and its impact on Black communities."
"For this project, I created a 3D animation inspired by one of my favorite films - Black Panther," Oshea further shared. "As an artist whose work focuses on afrofuturis and new worlds, I felt like there was a natural synergy there. I wanted to create a digital monument that embodied Chadwick's influence as a hero to all Black kids everywhere while raising awareness about colon cancer and its impact on Black communities."
Addressing the complaints, he stated, "I now recognize that Chadwick's face is a triggering reminder of his death rather than life, and I will be redesigning the artwork to be auctioned off later this week. I appreciate all of the love and support from both community and strangers and I'm motivated to push forward this piece."
Oshea added in the caption, "This past week has been a huge learning experience for me, and I appreciate all of the feedback on my work, especially from my friends and family. The process of sharing an artwork so publicly has taught me a lot about how to deal with, and listen to criticism, and how to harness it in a positive way. I look forward to sharing the next steps of my journey. Thank you to those who have shown me great support, I am deeply grateful."
The Boseman NFTs were included in the gift bags handed out at the Sunday, April 25 Academy Awards and provided by the Distinctive Assets company, which is not affiliated with the Oscars. The plan was to auction off one additional copy of the NFT, with 50% of the proceeds going to the Colon Cancer Foundation.
The NFT, however, wasn't the root of people's outcry. Fans were mostly upset because the "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" star lost the Oscar for Best Actor to Anthony Hopkins after the organizers rearranged the order of the award presentation to announce the category the last, giving a false hope that Boseman's win would've concluded the show.
Responding to the criticism, ABC's Rob Mills told Variety, "It was a calculated risk, that I think still paid off because everybody was talking about it.... I think some people thought maybe they missed some awards. 'Why is best picture early?' or, 'What's happening, this is crazy,' almost like, 'How can this possibly happen? Best picture has to end it!' Some people were upset, some people loved it and that was really the point that there was no apathy."
Meanwhile, Boseman's family took the loss in stride. Speaking to TMZ, his brother Derrick said they were not upset and they did not consider him losing to Hopkins in a snub. "I'm sure [Anthony] would [wish him the best] if Chad won," Derrick said. Assuring that "the family isn't upset or agitated" because "every nominated actor was excellent and deserving of the award," he added, "The family wishes Hopkins and his family all the best."