What Was Will Smith Doing at the Night of the 2023 Oscars?

Published 03/14/2023, 11:30 PM EDT

via Getty

Will Smith was a no-show at the 2023 Oscars. And that was expected because of the events last year and what followed. The Hollywood actor had walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face on live TV. Rock had poked fun at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s struggle with alopecia. While the audience laughed, the 54-year-old didn’t embrace the joke. While the actor did retain his Best Actor of the night for King Richard, he was later banned from the Academy for ten years. Smith’s absence from the event got fans wondering what he was doing the night the cream of the Hollywood industry came together to celebrate. And we have the deets!

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The father of three was seen taking his car out for a spin. He was spotted not too far away from the place where the Oscars were taking place at the Dolby Theaters in Los Angeles, according to ET Online. The actor was papped around 4 in the evening, driving in the neighborhood. 

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The actor’s absence did create a bit of trouble for the Academy, which had to quickly find a replacement for him to present the Best Actor and Actress award. The Academy had to replace him with Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain to present the award to Brenden Frasen for his superlative performance in The Whale. They had also put up a crisis team ready to handle any off-script moment. But despite his absence from the marquee event, Smith was not forgotten. 

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Will Smith was still the talk of the night and the butt of all jokes at the Oscars

The Oscars ceremony could not have begun without the host, Jimmy Kimmel, taking a dig at last year’s slapgate. Smith provided enough material to Kimmel to make the audience guffaw during his monologue. He wittily remarked that anyone who incited violence would earn himself the Best Actor award. He said the individual would also get to give a 19-minute speech, referencing Smith’s speech after his win. Dripping with sarcasm, Kimmel hit out at the audience to remain still and probably give the individual a hug. The punchline came when he commented that it was essential that he felt safe during his time on stage.

Do you think the Academy will lift the ban on the Men in Black star anytime soon?

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Srabani Biswas

1116 articles

Srabani Biswas is a writer at Netflix Junkie. She is a sociology graduate from Lady Brabourne College. Previously, she has contributed to Sports India Show and The Sports Room as a sports writer, and interned at Ripples Learning.

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