Apple and Netflix save the bidding war for Will Smith’s biopic amid controversy

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Apple TV+ and Netflix have pulled out of the bidding war over the Will Smith biopic after the actor punched comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Apple was one of several companies fighting to secure the rights to a film about Smith’s life based on his best-selling autobiography published in 2021. However, The Sun reports that Apple has withdrawn its bid for the film.

“Netflix and Apple+ have quietly withdrawn their bids for a Will Smith biopic and will instead move funds and develop original ideas from new black actors,” a source said.

Working with Smith has reportedly become a “risky venture” following the controversy surrounding the actor’s slap. The controversy started when Smith stormed onto the stage at the Oscars and slapped Rock after the comedian joked about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

At the Oscars, Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “King Richard,” beating Denzel Washington’s portrayal of the titular character in the Apple TV+ movie “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

After seemingly defending his actions during his Oscar acceptance speech, Smith later apologized for his actions and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Smith is currently slated to star in a new original movie for Apple TV+ called “Emancipation.” However, production of the film was halted due to Covid-19. In addition, Apple was one of several companies sued for alleged sexual harassment that took place during the making of the film.

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