Andre Oshea, one of the artists hired to produce the non-fungible token, took to Instagram Monday to announce the redesign, and to apologize “for any upset caused.”
“I now recognize that Chadwick’s face is a triggering reminder of his death,” he wrote, “rather than his life.”
Rising to prominence in the last few months, NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital artworks that are redeemed via a blockchain. While an NFT could be one of many things, including a JPEG, a GIF or an MP3, Oshea’s was a golden sculpture of Boseman’s head modeled in 3D, off of his appearance in the Disney-Marvel smash Black Panther.
Anthony Hopkins Posts Video Reaction To Surprise Best Actor Oscar Win, Pays Tribute To Chadwick Boseman
Reportedly, the Boseman NFTs were handed out in some Oscar gift bags, though they were not commissioned by the Academy. The plan was to auction off one additional copy of the NFT, with 50% of the proceeds going to the Colon Cancer Foundation. (Boseman passed away of the disease in August at age 43).
“I wanted to create a digital monument that embodied Chadwick’s influence as a hero to all the Black kids everywhere,” Oshea said, “while raising awareness about colon cancer and its impact on Black communities.”
Oshea first announced the NFT auction Saturday, and even then, social media questioned the move. “Idk what’s worse the fact that it’s an Nft, the fact that Chadwick Boseman’s death is being commodified, or that this is in every Oscar nominees’ gift bags,” tweeted one Twitter user.
After Boseman, who was up for Best Actor on Sunday, lost (in a surprise turn of events) to The Father star Anthony Hopkins, the NFT felt all the more like a slap in the face, both to the star and to those who admired him.
On Tuesday, though, the redesigned piece will be auctioned off via the NFT marketplace known as Rareable, where it is expected to net over $1 million. As promised, half of the proceeds will go to the Colon Cancer Foundation in Boseman’s honor.
Oshea’s full statement on the controversy can be viewed below.