Would you believe that it's almost a year since the famous Slapgate incident that happened at the Oscars? To get you up to speed, Will Smith slapped fellow actor, Chris Rock, after the latter made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The action drew flak from the audience who, at first, thought that the two had a playful trick together. But after confirming that the Slap was an assault on Smith's end, many were put off by his action.
And even though Smith has since apologized to Rock, it still doesn't erase the fact that the Academy has banned Smith from attending the prestigious event for the next 10 years. With the Oscars coming up in just a couple of weeks, many can't help but ask whether Smith will be attending the event.
Is Will Smith Attending This Year’s Oscars?
Even if he wanted to, Smith won't be able to attend the Oscars. The actor has been banned from all events for the next 10 years. This was a disciplinary action that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science imposed on the actor after his infamous Slap. This means that he'll be able to attend an event by 2033.
Right after the incident, the Academy released a statement that the event was "overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage." The organization also apologized for "not adequately addressing the situation in the room" during the telecast.
"This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short-- unprepared for the unprecedented. The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards."
In the same statement, the Academy praised Rock for "maintaining his composure" despite the "extraordinary circumstances."
Accepting this punishment, Smith said he "betrayed the trust of the Academy" and that he felt "heartbroken" over his actions. He also accepted "any and all consequences" of his behavior. Smith has resigned from the Academy, which means he is no longer able to vote for a future nomination.
Who Will Present Best Actor Award at the Oscars 2023?
It has long been a practice that the actor who won a Best Actor or Best Actress award from the previous year will be presenting the award in the next event. Since Smith is unable to attend the event, a fellow Best Actor nominee from that year will present the award at the Oscars this year.
It can be recalled that Smith won the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard. The other Best Actor nominees from last year include Andrew Garfield, Denzel Washington, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Javier Bardem. The Academy has not yet announced who will be presenting the award in March.
Has Will Smith Apologized to Chris Rock?
A few months after the Slapgate incident, Smith appeared in a YouTube video, entitled It's Been A Minute, and apologized to Rock. He also addressed some of the common questions raised after the incident and why he didn't apologize to the actor right after his acceptance speech.
He reached out to Rock and said:
"I was fogged out by that point. It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you."
But he also noted that it "is probably irreparable."
He also appeared in an interview with Trevor Noah where he said:
"There's many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just -- lost it, you know? I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all… It was a lot of things."
Is Will Smith Ready to Move On From Slapgate?
It looks like Smith is ready to move on from the controversy though. In a recent TikTok video, Smith did a duet with another TikToker by the name of @missmoneyworking. The TikTok user was explaining how inanimate objects have the ability to tell you what they are thinking of you.
"It sounds insane, but it will change your life, and by change your life, I mean it will make your life so much more interesting and fun. Did you know that you can pick any object, look at it and ask it what it thinks of you? So, for example, you can pick up a pen and ask it how it sees you or what it thinks of you, and you will get an answer in your mind from your intuition. You can ask your car what it thinks of you. You can even ask money what it thinks of you."
It was at that point when Smith picked up his Oscar trophy and looks at it with concern.
Some have praised the actor for "remorse period expired" and have also welcomed back the actor. Still, there are others who did not shy away from bringing up the incident.