We hope Will Smith thoroughly savored his time onstage smacking Chris Rock in the face, and that the docile stars who gave him a standing ovation when he grabbed his Best Actor trophy got a quick thrill, too. Because that may be the last time the handsy performer gets anywhere near an Oscar for a long, long time.
So far, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said only that it “condemns” Smith’s violence in a dishwater statement, but Smith is also facing a possible yearlong suspension from the Academy, a punishment that would eliminate him from next year’s awards contention, despite an upcoming flick that checks all the usual Oscar buzz-boxes.
“I would not be surprised if they suspend him for a year, six months—really give him a public lashing, so to speak, where he will feel something and not be able to get a nomination for a movie that he has coming out next year,” Puck News’ Matt Belloni told Today on Tuesday, Page Six reports.
Such a reprisal would mean that no matter how gripping a performance the Fresh Prince gives in his upcoming Antoine Fuqua-directed runaway slave thriller Emancipation, the slap-happy actor will not put his hands on another shiny Academy bauble for it.
Although Smith offered what might pass as an apology in between sniffling and sobbing about being “a vessel for love” when he accepted his important statue, Belloni says that won’t even cut muster with the normally pliant Academy folk.
“It didn’t occur on stage,” he said. “He apologized only to the Academy and other nominees, but not to Chris Rock.” As for Smith’s more formal social media mea culpa, Belloni added, “And then this Instagram apology to Chris Rock and a number of other people… it was sort of a blanket and a PR-managed apology.”
Since Smith was not man enough to apologize for himself in any meaningful way, his wife and his mom both came out in an attempt to perform mopping-up duties for the blubbering Best Actor.
“This is a season for healing,” Jada Pinkett Smith half-assed it on Instagram, “and I’m here for it.”
Will’s mother, 85-year-old Carolyn Smith, told WPVI-TV Philadelphia, “He is a very even people person. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen him go off. The first time in his lifetime.”
Jim Carrey, meanwhile, has no patience for Smith, his tantrums, or his legion of enablers.
“I was sickened,” Carrey told CBS Mornings. “I was sickened by the standing ovation. I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse, and it just—it really felt like, ‘Oh, this is a really clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.'”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.