On Sunday, March 12 will be the 95th annual Academy Awards, and the first since Best Actor winner Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock across the face.
Given the fact that Chris Rock released a new stand-up special last Saturday — and his first since the incident — The Slap has obviously been on the minds of pop culture fans in recent days heading into this year’s Oscars.
During a recent interview, one of the producers of the show detailed how the ceremony — which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel — will handle the ugly memories of Smith walking on stage to open-palm slap Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife’s hair.
“We’re going to acknowledge it, and then we’re gonna move on. We don’t want to make this year about last year. It’s certainly something we can and will address in a comedic fashion,” said Molly McNearny, the executive producer of the show.
Now, while that might be how the Academy plans to handle things, that doesn’t mean that an award-winner might go off script and mention the moment during their acceptance speeches. As a result of The Slap, Smith has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years.
According to reports, Rock’s new Netflix special — which was their first-ever live-streamed event — left Smith feeling “hurt and embarrassed” and that he wishes Rock would just “let it go.”
Heading into Sunday’s ceremony, A24’s Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is expected to be the big winner of the night, as it’s currently a massive favorite to take home the award for Best Picture. Additionally, Ke Huy Quan is virtually a lock to win Best Supporting Actress, while Michelle Yeoh is neck-and-neck with Cate Blanchett to win Best Actress.
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