The repercussions of Will Smith's infamous slapping of comedian Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars continue. The actor has been banned from the Academy Awards and his DCEU projects have been placed on indefinite hold.
An angry Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during part of the 94th Oscar Awards ceremony. The action was in response to the comedian’s jab at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and her alopecia. In the aftermath of the incident, Smith’s upcoming Hollywood projects have been delayed indefinitely or outright canceled. The actor himself resigned from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Read on for the terms of the Academy's decision and the status of the Deadshot solo film.
Banned from the Oscars
Despite resigning from the Academy, the Board of Governors have taken Smith’s penalty a step further. The actor is officially banned from the Oscars ceremonies for the next 10 years.
BREAKING: Will Smith has been banned for 10 years from attending the Oscars or any other academy event, following his slap of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. https://t.co/zNSae0ocdD
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 8, 2022
The statement issued by the Oscars Board of Governors read as follows:
The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage. During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. 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 of Governors also issued a formal apology and expressed gratitude to the live audience present during the incident:
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast...This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.
As of April 8, 2022, Will Smith is not allowed to attend any events or programs hosted by the Academy. This is not limited to just the annual Oscar awards. Will Smith responded to the decision of the Board of Governors with this statement:
I accept and respect the Academy's decision.
The Academy’s Board of Governors is comprised of 54 prominent members of the film industry. Each governor represents a different branch, from directors to actors, executives to visual effects. The current roster includes Steven Spielberg (director), Larry Karaszewski (writer), Mark Johnson (producer), Whoopi Goldberg (actor), among others.
Deadshot solo film dead?
In 2016’s Suicide Squad, Will Smith played the role of supervillain hitman Deadshot. Although the film was an ensemble cast, Smith was the highest profile actor at the time of the David Ayer-directed DCEU movie. Plus, it was intended as a springboard for future projects, as seen with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn heading up the Birds of Prey (2020).
Giant Freakin Robot: Will Smith's Deadshot Solo Movie Has Been Canceled.https://t.co/TF5GUwxwBH
— HEM News Agency (@halfeatenmind) April 8, 2022
One of these intended projects was a solo Deadshot movie, with Smith reprising the role. The film would have explored the early career of the assassin and be a follow-up after the end of Suicide Squad. However, the film had suffered delays to the production. Smith’s $20 million talent fee and the COVID-19 outbreak were key factors to the delay. Despite these, it was still in development, which is why James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad had Idris Elba play Bloodsport instead of replacing Smith in the Deadshot role.
Sadly, the Oscars slapping incident may have put the final nail in the coffin for the Deadshot film. Industry insiders have reported that Warner Bros. has pushed the Deadshot film far back into production. This is effectively an indefinite hold, just short of an official confirmation that the project has been canceled. This also extends to potential appearances as the character in other DCEU films.
Still the Best Actor
One punishment that has been called for will not be happening. Smith's emotional outburst tarnished his later Oscar acceptance. However, Will Smith will retain his 2022 Oscar award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard (2021).
Despite protests claiming Smith had forfeited his winning the coveted honor, the Academy’s 10-year ban is more than sufficient.
King Richard is currently available on the HBO Max streaming service.