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Chadwick Boseman NFT Artist Faces Backlash for 'Profiting Off' Late Actor after Oscar Loss

Chadwick Boseman NFT | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

Chadwick Boseman NFT | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

NFT artist Andre O'Shea said that he will redesign the NFT artwork after the late actor Chadwick Boseman lost the Best Actor Oscar to Anthony Hopkins.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards were held on April 25 in Los Angeles, California but fans were left disappointed when the late actor and playwright Chadwick Boseman was not awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The unanticipated loss left many angry as Boseman, who has won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his performance, lost to Anthony Hopkins in the category but what added more fuel to fans’ anger was how the Academy chose to honour the late actor.

On Saturday, it was revealed that all nominees would be given a non-fungible token (NFT) of Boseman’s face in a bright golden CGI which would be put for auction for charity. The 3D tribute was included in a gift bag for all nominees attending the ceremony on Sunday.

Its creator, Andre O’Shea shared the news on Twitter to reveal his artwork but the move received a huge backlash. While sharing a small clip of the animation, he wrote, “The way to immortalise an artist is to honour them with art"and added that “bringing this piece to life has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences as an artist for him."

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The post further stated that NFT will be auctioned on Rarible, whose half of the proceeds will be donated to the Colon Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in New York. Boseman died of colon cancer in August 2020 and being diagnosed in 2016, he continued his acting career while supporting cancer charities.

Social media users slammed the move by calling it ‘disgusting’, ‘disrespectful’ and a way to ‘profit off’ Boseman’s death. Twitter was flooded with outraged fans speaking their mind over the commodification of the actor’s demise.

Many called out the artists and the Academy and asked if they could be sued for the controversial move.

The outrage reached O’Shea who defended the artwork initially saying that he has never received ‘so much hate for his art.’

In his latest statement, however, O’Shea said that he would redesign the NFT before putting it up for auction and “apologised for any upset caused."Further, he states that “Boseman’s face is a triggering reminder of his death rather than his life’ so he will be redesigning the piece."

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first published:April 28, 2021, 10:03 IST