After receiving a 10-year ban from the Academy, actor Will Smith will be breaking an Oscars tradition. The 54-year-old actor, who won his first Oscar at the 94th event last year, is leaving the Academy in a dilemma as to who will present the Best Actress award. For decades, the Oscars has kept a tradition of having the previous Best Actor winner present to the current year’s winner for Best Actress. During the award show last year, Smith famously hit host Chris Rock with a slap when the latter had picked on Smith’s wife with one of his jokes.
After multiple nominations, the actor won his first Oscar for the movie, King Richard, where he played the part of tennis players, Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams. This award was presented to him just moments after the cheek slam. Chris Rock, who seemed to have let sleeping dogs lie, has now begun waking them up with his recent Netflix special, in which he threw shade in Smith’s direction.
Will Smith At The 94th Oscars
Equally, some are wondering if this year’s Oscars host, Jimmy Kimmel, will feel free to make do with the audience or if he’ll travel outside the event hall for his jokes. How free will Kimmel be to allow his mouth to lighten up the occasion?
Although he won the Best Actor category, Will Smith will not be handing the award to any of the Best Actress nominees, which include Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett. Bill Kramer, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) CEO hinted at precautions being taken to curb any such occurrences in the coming weekend during an interview with Time Magazine. “Because of the slap last year, we’ve opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars,” he said. The Emancipation star isn’t just inspiring a crisis team, but also stopping a longtime tradition.
For now, The Academy hasn’t mentioned who will be replacing Will Smith to present the Best Actress award this Sunday, leaving a handful of Oscars fans wondering. How do you think the academy will work around Smith’s absence? Let us know in the comment section below.