As the one-year anniversary nears of Will Smith's infamous slap of Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, fans are now wondering: Will the actor be allowed to attend this year's awards ceremony?
In short, no. Following the March 2022 altercation, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from all Academy events for 10 years, meaning he will not be attending the 2023 ceremony.
While Smith’s ban from the Academy does not prevent him from being nominated for future awards, he was not nominated for any Oscars this year.
Smith, 54, hit Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a bald head while presenting an award at the ceremony.
Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes following the joke, and then Smith got up from his seat and approached the comedian on stage.
Smith slapped rock and returned to his seat, where he yelled “Keep my wife’s name out of your f-----g mouth!”
The day after the 2022 awards, Smith apologized to Rock, and has issued several additional apologies to the comedian, his family, fellow actors and his fans.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote in his initial statement. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1, and the Academy imposed its ban on April 8.
Oscars executive producer Molly McNearney said, per Variety, Smith and his absence would be addressed at the 2023 awards, but not dwelled upon.
“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,” she said.
Kimmel, who is hosting for the third year in a row, told The Hollywood Reporter it would be “ridiculous” not to mention “The Slap” in his speech.
He won't be there — but it still leaves questions about who will be in his stead. Historically, the previous year's winner for best actor presents best actress. Moments after "The Slap," Smith won the award for best actor for his performance in “King Richard." Eyes are on who, among the presenters, will go onstage for best actress at the 2023 Oscars.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the third time, the 2023 Oscars are broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, with the red carpet starting earlier. The 2023 Oscars are available to watch on ABC and various streaming platforms. Leading the list of nominees include “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” The list of performers and presenters includes Rihanna, following her Super Bowl halftime show, and the viral Telugu-language hit “Naatu Naatu.” Follow TODAY.com for complete Oscars coverage, including this year’s winners and unexpected moments.