“He won the Oscar,” said AMPAS President Janet Yang. “It should have his name engraved on it.”
The 2023 Oscars may have gone off without a hitch, but Academy President Janet Yang is ready to welcome back Will Smith…to a degree.
After Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars ceremony, the winner of the best actor was banned of all Academy events for the next decade; Smith can still be appointed. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Yang said The Hollywood Reporter that Smith is welcome to have his nameplate engraved on the Oscar statue as the ‘King Richard’ actor did not attend the Governors Ball after the ceremony last year, where nameplates are added to the rewards.
“He won the Oscar,” Yang said. “He should have his name engraved on it. I don’t know if he should come personally. But yes, we can arrange.
Reflecting on his initial reaction to seeing Smith attack Rock last year on stage, Yang said, “Really, we were numb. Like everyone, at the beginning, when Will comes on stage, we say to ourselves: ‘Oh, that’s a little funny. He’ll pretend to slap him, and then Chris will act dumbfounded. And then it was like, ‘Okay, well, that’s over.’ And then he goes back to his seat and then he starts screaming — that’s when, of course, everyone said, “Oh my God, this is real.”
The infamous Oscars slap was addressed by Oscars 2023 host Jimmy Kimmel in his opening monologue.
“We want you to have fun, we want you to be safe, and above all, we want me to be safe“, Kimmel said. “If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any time during this show, you will receive the Academy Award for Best Actor and be allowed to give an 18-minute long speech.”
Kimmel noted that a “crisis team” was in place, but in case things went wrong he joked: “Just do what you did last year – nothing. Just sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe give the abuser a hug.
Halle Berry also took over as presenter from Smith when presenting the Best Actress award to ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ star Michelle Yeoh.
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