Actor and Movement Image Academy member Harry Lennix — whose credit embrace “Man of Metal” and “Ray” — known as on Will Smith to return his Finest Actor Oscar to revive the “integrity” of the awards ceremony following his onstage slapping of Chris Rock.
The op-ed in Selection comes only a day after the Academy introduced a 10-year ban of the “King Richard” star from the Oscars, which Lennix likened to a “little greater than an prolonged day out for a playground bully,” calling it a “toothless penalty that lays naked the vanity of Hollywood morals.” The Academy’s choice doesn’t preclude Smith, who earlier resigned from the Academy, from receiving nominations or awards throughout that decade, however solely bans him from attending them.
“Smith must express-mail his golden trophy again to the Academy and publicly state one thing to the impact of: ‘Out of respect for the 94 years of honor conferred upon this award, I don’t in good conscience really feel worthy of being its custodian,’” Lennix wrote, including that solely the actor can “redeem” the present’s integrity.
Lennix additionally ripped Smith’s acceptance speech later that night, saying, “This try to clarify his actions added to the travesty of this moral disaster. In couching his acceptance speech as one way or the other submitting to the desire of God, Smith abdicated private accountability.”
“The Blacklist” actor additional went on to say that Smith’s “brutality stripped the complete night of its status,” including that his actions created an “existential disaster” for the awards present. He additionally admonished the Academy for not instantly ejecting Smith from the viewers, for which the group’s board has since apologized.
He concluded, “The stain on the Movement Image Academy can’t be simply remediated. The one hope for a justifiable grace should contain Smith voluntarily returning his award for finest actor.”
Solely 5 folks have been expelled within the historical past of the Academy, probably the most infamous being Harvey Weinstein, Invoice Cosby and Roman Polanski in reference to sexual abuse convictions. As well as, just one Oscar has ever been revoked, however not for an actor, slightly for a movie — 1969’s Finest Documentary Characteristic as a consequence of eligibility necessities. In consequence, Weinstein, Cosby and Polanski have retained their quite a few accolades, the foremost nonetheless holding a complete of 81 as a producer and filmmaker.
Practically two weeks in the past, Smith walked onstage and slapped Rock after the comic joked that Smith’s spouse, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, ought to star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel as a consequence of her shaved head. Smith then twice shouted from his seat to Rock, “Preserve my spouse’s identify out your f—ing mouth.”