Will Smith smacking Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars took away the limelight. With all eyes on him and the pressure on the Academy to take severe action, they banned Will Smith for ten years from any offline or virtual event organized by them.
The punishment seems steep to many, but a question looms in the air: Can Will Smith still win an Oscar?
The 53-year-old Men In Black actor had previously been nominated twice for Best Actor at the Oscars. His first nomination was for the 2001 movie Ali followed by a nomination in the 2006 movie The Pursuit of Happyness.
The third time turned out to be the charm for Will Smith, as his next nomination in King Richard made him the coveted Best Actor award winner at the 2022 Oscars held on March 28. However, the actor is now barred from attending the event.
The now-infamous incident happened when host Chris Rock cracked a joke on Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, about her shaved head. The actor seemingly lost his temper, walked to the stage, and smacked him across the face—all on live television.
The public harshly criticized the Academy and the King Richard actor for his misdemeanor. A few hours later, Will Smith posted an apology for his conduct.
But it turns out that Will Smith can still get nominated and win an award. The Academy’s Standards of Conduct law rules don’t apply to award eligibility, reported People.
So even though Will Smith will not be allowed in any Academy events—from screenings, parties, and interviews to the actual award event—he can still score a nomination, and maybe even win.
However, the public does believe it will be difficult for the actor to get a nomination, let alone a win, after the altercation.
In his letter of April 8, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson stated that the ban:
“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.”
A week before the Academy’s decision, the King Richard actor resigned from the Academy. By doing so, he gave up privileges such as film screenings and voting for potential winners.
The general consensus remains that the decade-long ban will have a major impact on Will Smith’s career despite him still being eligible for a nomination.
News Source: People