Amid social media outrage, Andre Oshea clarifies "misinformation around the project" and stresses that the art wasn't included in nominee gift bags.

By Joey Nolfi
April 27, 2021 at 09:25 AM EDT
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The artist behind a controversial piece depicting the image of late Oscar nominee Chadwick Boseman has apologized for "triggering" his audience.

After social media erupted with criticism over the decision to tie the artwork's release to the Oscars, Oshea released a statement on Instagram apologizing for "any upset caused," and stressing that access to the digital NFT (non-fungible token) wasn't included in nominee gift bags at the Oscars ceremony.

"I now recognize that Chadwick's face is a triggering reminder of his death rather than his life, and I will be redesigning the artwork to be auctioned off later this week," he wrote, after explaining that he was commissioned by Nomine(eth) — a company not affiliated with the Oscars — to produce the piece for a charity auction that would partially benefit The Colon Cancer Foundation and research into the disease that killed Boseman in August 2020.

However, even amid the backlash, Oshea "will still be donating 50 percent of the funds to the Colon Cancer Foundation to fund their invaluable work with cancer research and testing."

On Sunday, Oshea shared the piece on social media, explaining in a caption that the process of creating it was one of his "most challenging and rewarding experiences as an artist."

At the Oscars ceremony, Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) competed for a posthumous Oscar victory in the Best Actor category alongside Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), and Anthony Hopkins (The Father) — the last of whom ultimately won in a surprise late-season surge that also saw him take the BAFTA Award in the same category.

"Well, here I am in my homeland in Wales, and at 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn't," Hopkins said in a video statement released after the telecast. "And [I'm] very grateful to the Academy, and thank you, and I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early, and again thank you all very much. I really did not expect this. So I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you."

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best films.

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