It’s been almost two weeks since the Academy Awards, but people are still talking about them. Unfortunately, nobody is talking about Best Picture winner CODA, or about any snubs that might have occurred. We’re all still talking about Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock. According to a new report, Smith is thinking a lot about it too.
While a lot of people feel that there was plenty of blame to go around for the incident, the lion’s share has fallen on Will Smith, and according to an anonymous source speaking to US Weekly, the actor is afraid of becoming “fully canceled” as a result of it all. What’s more, at this point there’s little to nothing that he can do about it, which only adds to the frustration.
The fear of being “canceled” is certainly understandable. While there are a variety of definitions as to what that even means, a pair of Will Smith’s upcoming projects have reportedly been put on hold following the incident, so the slap is apparently having an impact on his professional work. At this point it’s far from clear what the long term outlook is for Smith professionally.
Both a Netflix project Will Smith had in development, as well as Bad Boys 4, which was given the greenlight following a very successful third installment, are currently being put on pause, and it seems they are no longer in active development. That doesn’t mean the movies are dead, or even that they’ll stay in this state for very long, but there are simply a lot of questions here and the uncertainty is the biggest issue.
If a lot of movies that might have starred Will Smith end up looking elsewhere, the actor could find himself in something of a career slump. While it seems unlikely that Smith will find zero work, it’s possible we could see him in surprising places if the jobs made available to him are of a different sort than we’re used to seeing.
Will Smith has already resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. While that removes his ability to vote for, and potentially attend, the awards, it doesn’t mean that his issues with the Academy are over. The organization that puts on the Oscars are still considering disciplinary action and might repossess the Oscar that Will Smith won shortly after the slap.
For what it’s worth, the same unnamed source that tells Us of Will Smith fears of cancelation also says that he understands that all he can do is accept his punishment, whatever it ends up being, and he will try to atone for it all however he can. He does seem to accept that he was in the wrong.
Once the Academy makes a determination as to how to handle all this, we’ll likely see the rest of Hollywood fall into place. Perhaps Will Smith will return to business as usual without much changing. Maybe he will quietly disappear from movie screens for a while, before attempting a comeback. Or maybe his career, at least as we’ve known it, really has changed forever due to this event.