“We learned from this…” – Academy President Admits Where They Went Wrong in Handling the Will Smith Slapping Incident

Published 02/14/2023, 2:01 AM EST

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With the awards season going on, everyone is waiting for the biggest award show, the Oscars. However, while talking about the Academy Awards, the infamous slapping incident involving Will Smith comes to one’s mind. Though the Emancipation actor apologized for his impulsive behavior, people are still a little terrified about it. With the upcoming ceremony is in line, the Academy President, Janet Yang, opened up about how they could have handled the situation better and where they went wrong.

As the Men in Black actor violently reacted to a joke by the host, Chris Rock, the Academy banned Smith for 10 years. However, the Academy president spoke about it at the beginning of the upcoming Oscars Nominees Luncheon (2023). She said the institution didn’t handle the 2022 Will Smith fallout properly. While remembering the incident, she acknowledged the violent act was totally unacceptable. However, the response from the organization was not adequate.

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“We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions,” said Yang. As per the president, one must act swiftly and compassionately, especially during critical times. One must be decisive for one’s self and for the entire industry, too. While assuring to be more careful in the future, the president said people should and can expect just that from the Academy, reported Variety.

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What happened after the Will Smith fallout at the 2022 Oscars?

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At the end of March 2022, the Oscars ceremony was disturbed by the Aladdin actor slapping Chris Rock. However, the ceremony continued and the King Richard star won the Best Actor Award for King Richard. Afterward, in April, the Academy announced a 10 years ban for the Oscar-winning actor and it revoked Smith’s membership as well.

In their statement on the 8th of April,2022, the Academy apologized for not taking swift action. While regretting the delay, it also stated it had a chance to set an example for its guests, viewers, and Academy members. While Academy gave a statement, the 54-year-old actor apologized to Chris Rock, his mother, and issued a public apology, too.

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Regretting his impulsive behavior, the actor also issued a signed statement to the Academy. However, after the incident, the actor got to act in one of the nicest projects with Antoine Fuqua. As Smith is getting back to his acting career with sequels of his blockbuster movies, what do you think about the statements by the Academy president? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Neha Chande

1879 articles

Neha Rajesh Chande is a writer at Netflix Junkie. She has pursued her master's degree with English Literature. Previously, she's been a facilitator and a lecturer of English and Communication Skills.

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