Will Smith Wants Back in Academy After 10-Year Ban for Slap

Will Smith has a big hit on his hands with comeback movie Bad Boys 4, which he’s hoping will win him a reprieve with Oscars bosses and see his 10-year ban for slapping Chris Rock in 2022 cut early.

“Will’s defenders are always reminding people that, with respect to ‘The Slap,’ Will apologized in no uncertain terms, but more importantly, Will is selling tickets and putting butts in seats at a time when the whole business is struggling,” a source exclusively tells In Touch.

“That counts for a lot – just ask Will’s old pal Tom Cruise. Nobody was bringing up Scientology when Tom was filling cinemas week after week two years ago with Top Gun: Maverick. Will is a sinner, but sinners can be forgiven and he’s driving a lot of business right now, against all odds,” the insider continues.

What’s standing in his way? “Well, there are still people in the Academy who think Will should have been arrested for what he did. The big change this summer is that the fans have spoken, and they want Will to keep being a movie star. That’s huge and Will is using that as his rocket fuel to get back into the good graces of the Academy, which has more Black members than ever before,” the source explains.

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The I Am Legend star, 55, infamously stormed on stage during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, and slapped presenter Chris after he made a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith‘s, bald head.

Jada, 52, suffers from the hair loss condition alopecia, and appeared to lean over and say something to her husband prior to him attacking Chris, 59. After returning to his seat, Will yelled to the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

The incident ruined what turned out to be the biggest night of the star’s career, as he went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard. In his tearful acceptance speech, Will did not mention his controversial slap from earlier in the evening.

“Another obstacle is that Chris Rock is rightfully still very upset about the incident, and he’s a beloved Academy insider,” the source says about Will’s ban. “The moment everybody is waiting for is for Chris and Will to publicly and genuinely bury the hatchet – that’s going to give the Academy the confidence to revisit their decision to ban Will from the Oscars for 10 years.”

Will Smith Wants Back In the Academy After 10-Year Ban for Slap
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Will resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on April 1, 2022, saying he would accept whatever consequences came his way, along with an apology to Chris and others affected.

“The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,” Smith wrote. “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” Will wrote in a statement.

He added, “I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”

On April 8, 2022, the Academy announced Will would be banned from all its events, virtually or in person, for 10 years as a punishment for slapping Chris at the Oscars.

“We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast,” the Academy said in a statement after their Board of Governors’ decision.

It continued, “This action we are taking today 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. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

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