Will Smith was on the stage a couple of times during the 2022 Oscars, but one appearance stole headlines and resulted in a 10-year ban from the Academy. Now there is a call for Will Smith to return his Best Actor Oscar for King Richard.
Legendary actor Harry Lennix penned a Variety op-ed where he said Smith’s 10-year ban is “an extended time out for a playground bully.” He went on to say it, “lays bare the shallowness of Hollywood morals.”
Lennix also said it was “galling” that Smith was allowed to take the stage and accept his Academy Award. He found it offensive how The Fresh Prince referred to the “will of God” in the words of his speech as well.
“Smith’s brutality stripped the entire evening of its prestige. That was proven when stunned Oscar attendees gave a standing ovation to someone who’d just committed an assault in front of their eyes.”
“With one deft blow, Will Smith created an existential crisis for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences,” Lennix said. “The incident was such a jolt to societal norms that it will gnaw away at our national conscience until somehow properly atoned for.”
The 57-year-old veteran went on to say that, “The stain on the Motion Picture Academy cannot be easily remediated. The only hope for a justifiable grace must involve Smith voluntarily returning his award for best actor.”
Harry Lennix is a prolific character actor known for The Five Heartbeats. His words might hold some gravity as his opinion is now very clear that Will Smith doesn’t need to hold onto his trophy after such an action.
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