Academy Member Says Will Smith Should Return His Oscar: ‘The Incident Was Such a Shock to Societal Norms’

Will Smith is “voluntarily returning” his Best Actor Oscar, a Motion Picture Academy member has said.

in one diversity Guest commentary on Saturday (April 9), film and stage veteran Harry Lennix called that King Richard The actor’s 10-year Academy Awards ban ‘toothless punishment’ and likened his action to punching Chris Rock over one GI Jane Witz “an extended sabbatical for a playground bully” that “lays bare the shallowness of Hollywood morality.”

On Sunday (March 27), Rock presented the award for best documentary when he made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2He can’t wait to see you,” he joked in an apparent reference to the actor’s shaved head.

Smith then took to the stage and punched the comedian, yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your friggin’ mouth.”

“Smith’s brutality tarnished the entire evening,” wrote Lennix, 57. “It was proven when stunned Oscar nominees gave a standing ovation to someone who had just committed an assault before their very eyes.


“In one deft stroke, Will Smith created an existential crisis for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences,” he added. “The incident was such a shock to societal norms that it will gnaw at our national conscience until somehow properly atoned for.”

Lennix concluded that “the stain on the Motion Picture Academy cannot be easily healed” and that “the only hope of justifiable clemency must be that Smith voluntarily returns his Best Actor award”.

On Saturday, the academy announced that Smith had been banned from the Oscars and all related academy events for the next 10 years.


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In an open letter, Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson wrote that this year’s Oscars “were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.”

They continued, “This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal, which is to protect the safety of our artists and guests and restore trust in the Academy. We also hope that this can begin a time of healing and recovery for all involved and affected.”

In a statement, Smith said, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

Five days after the slap, Smith sent an official resignation to the academy, stripping him of his membership of the Academy Awards panel.

Smith’s resignation was accepted, but President Rubin commented, “We will continue to pursue our disciplinary process against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s standards of conduct.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/will-smith-academy-oscar-award-return-b2055236.html Academy Member Says Will Smith Should Return His Oscar: ‘The Incident Was Such a Shock to Societal Norms’


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