Will Smith Still Hasn't Had His 2022 Best Actor Oscar Statuette Engraved But Academy President Says They Can Arrange It For Him
Just because Will Smith has been banned from Academy events doesn't mean he can't get his Oscar trophy engraved.
A year after Will Smith's controversial Best Actor win at the Oscars, he still hasn't had his statuette engraved.
Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Janet Yang, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, said Smith was supposed to get a nameplate added to his Oscar at the Governors Ball following the 2022 awards ceremony.
For slapping Chris Rock on a live show over a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's shaven-headed look, Smith was banned from all Academy events for the next 10 years. Smith also resigned from the Academy.
Despite being persona non grata, Yang said Smith is always welcome to get his trophy engraved.
“He earned the Oscar,” she said. “He should have his name engraved on it. I don’t know if he should personally come. But yeah, we can arrange.”
Looking back at the Oscars slap, Yang said, “Truly, we were numb.”
She continued: "Like everyone else, in the beginning when Will walks onto stage, we’re like, ‘Oh, this is a funny bit. He is going to pretend he slaps him, and then Chris is going to act stunned.
"And then it was like, ‘Okay, well that’s over.’ And then he goes back to his seat and then he starts shouting — that’s when, of course, everyone said, ‘Oh my God, this is real.'"
It was inevitable that the slap incident would make its way into Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue on Sunday (Mar 12).
"Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the chances of a fight just went way up," he joked.
“We want you to have fun, feel safe, and, most importantly, we want me feel safe,” Kimmel said.
“So, we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.
"But seriously, the academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the show, sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”
According to Jimmy Kimmy Live! executive producer (and Kimmel's wife) Molly McNearney, a lot of the Smith/Slap jokes were taken out.
"We had two versions of the monologue," McNearney told Variety. “We didn’t want to make this year all about last year."
She continued, “I cannot tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that then we got rid of. We think that only the best for that room made it. There were certainly some that went harder, but we didn’t think that was our place to do that. That should be Chris Rock, not us.
“But we really liked the idea of making fun of the reaction to it last year,” she added. “I think we’re all still in a bit of shock of how that went down and how after watching that violence everyone had to then sit through an acceptance speech.”
Watch Kimmel's Oscars opening monologue here: