NFT of late actor Chadwick Boseman to be redesigned after sparking backlash

An NFT created of the late Chadwick Boseman is being redesigned after sparking backlash online.
An NFT created of the late Chadwick Boseman is being redesigned after sparking backlash online.PHOTO: ANDREOSHEA__/INSTAGRAM

A non-fungible token (NFT) created of late actor Chadwick Boseman, who was widely tipped to win a posthumous Best Actor at the Oscars for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Sunday (April 25), is being redesigned after sparking backlash online.

Actor Anthony Hopkins took home the award instead in a surprise win for his role in The Father.

Andre Oshea, one of the artists who produced the NFT, announced the redesign and apologised on Instagram on Monday.

The black 3D artist wrote: "I now recognise that Chadwick's face is a triggering reminder of his death, rather than his life."

NFTs are digital artworks that are redeemed via a blockchain and Oshea's work was a golden sculpture of Boseman's head in 3D, based on his role in smash superhero film Black Panther.

Boseman died in August last year from colon cancer at the age of 43.

Copies of the Boseman NFT were reportedly included in some Oscar gift bags, although the work was not commissioned by the award organisers.

An additional copy of the NFT was to have been auctioned off on Sunday, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to the Colon Cancer Foundation, but that has been postponed.

It is expected to sell for US$1 million (S$1.3 million) on online marketplace Rarible, with the creator taking 10 per cent of the sale.

Twitter users tweeted their outrage after the NFT was unveiled. One commenter wrote: "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."

However, Oshea said his intention was to honour the late actor.

He added: "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."