If there’s one thing the Oscars are known for, it’s memorials. In addition to the speedy and controversial-as-always In Memoriam segment this year, the Oscar celebration got a little crazy with their tribute to nominee Chadwick Boseman. No, they didn’t do that tired cliché of the posthumous Oscar. Could you imagine? How insensitive. How bizarre. How utterly macabre and disrespectful. Don’t worry; they simply turned a golden illustration of the beloved Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Black Panther star into an NFT to be auctioned off for a million dollars.
It’s not as bad as it sounds, and the letters NFT usually sound pretty bad at this point. First, the Academy did not commission the artwork by Andrew Oshea. The piece was part of “Everyone Wins” swag bag by Distinctive Assets, an LA-based entertainment marketing company, which was auctioned off with proceeds going to the Colon Cancer Foundation.
“The way to immortalize an artist is to honor them with art,” tweeted Oshea. “I was tasked to create a tribute NFT for Chadwick Boseman for the Oscars! Bringing this piece to life has been one of my most challenging & rewarding experiences as an artist.”
According to Oshea, this digital golden sculpture of Boseman’s head had a “buy now” price of $1.2 million with 50 percent of the proceeds are going to charity. That only leaves 50 percent to make everyone feel a little uncomfortable about the whole thing. The auction began earlier tonight and will run through Tuesday on rarible.com.
Boseman, who died last August after a four-year colon cancer battle, was a favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In a surprising, anticlimactic upset, Boseman lost to The Father himself, Anthony Hopkins. At least Boseman’s NFT will keep the actor’s memory alive as it collects digital dust on the hard drive of some rich guy’s MacBook.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science had commissioned the NFT. This was incorrect. We’ve amended the article. We regret the error.