“He is going to pretend he slaps him”: Academy President Initially Thought Will Smith Fake Slapped Chris Rock, Says He Deserves His Oscar Despite the Controversy

Before Sunday’s Oscars, Janet Yang, the president of the Film Academy, discussed her thoughts on Will Smith, Chris Rock, and the infamous slap controversy. She is the first person of Asian descent to hold the position of president of the most powerful corporation in Hollywood. 

Janet Yang was the guest on an episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, which was published the day before the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood. The president of the Academy made the suggestion in her recent interview with the host Scott Feinberg to give some relaxation to Will Smith after his last year’s Infamous Slap controversy.  

Janet Yang
Janet Yang

Janet Yangs suggested that Smith is welcome to have a nameplate put on the Oscar statuette he won for best actor. This is strange, as she maintained this belief despite Smith’s having a ten-year ban from Academy events for slapping Rock during the ceremony the year before. 

Also Read: After Reports of Sleeping Together, Will Smith Reportedly Shamed Margot Robbie by Sharing Her N*ked Deep Fake Photo With Friends Despite Her Warnings

Janet Yang Cool with Will Smith Getting His ‘Oscar Engraved’

Janet Yang discussed her opinions on Will Smith and his contentious slap from last year with Scott Feinberg on the recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. As she said, she believed the actor should have his name engraved on the Oscar when asked what she would say if Smith reached for his nameplate.

In the interview that was released the day before the 95th Academy Awards, Yang added, “He earned the Oscar. He should have his name engraved on it. I don’t know if he should personally come. But yeah, we can arrange.”

Chris Rock and Will Smith Oscar 2022
Chris Rock and Will Smith Oscar 2022

Smith proudly displayed his Oscar statuette, which he received for his work in King Richard, to demonstrate that it had not been engraved. 

Following the ceremony, Oscar winners typically go to the Governors’ Ball, where their nameplates are added to the trophies. However, Smith has been banned from the Oscars and Academy events for the following ten years after slapping Chris Rock during the awards show; thus, he never made it to the ball last year.

Also Read: ‘Will Smith the GOAT you are’: Internet Hails Will Smith’s Humility After He Self Trolls Himself in Viral Oscars Slap TikTok Video

She Initially Thought Will Smith Faked Slapping Chris Rock 

Janet Yang also discussed his initial thoughts following Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock. Yang said, “Truly, we were numb,” when asked what she was thinking while watching the actor smackdown the comedian. She continued,

Like everyone else, in the beginning when Will walks onto stage, we’re like, ‘Oh, this is a funny bit. He is going to pretend he slaps him, and then Chris is going to act stunned.”

On the other hand, Rock was reportedly asked to host again before Yang and Academy CEO Bill Kramer, but he declined. Last week, he addressed the slapping incident in his new Netflix live-streamed comedy special, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage.

Will Smith
Will Smith is upset over Chris Rock’s comedy

Even though Janet Yang is one of the most influential figures in Hollywood, she once believed that a career in the entertainment industry was unattainable. 

Yang, an American of Chinese descent, grew up in the 1960s on Long Island. She has won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her work in the industry. She has produced films like The Joy Luck Club, High Crimes, and the Oscar-nominated animated film Over the Moon.

Also Read: “Woman who can command me hasn’t been born yet”: After Fans Accused Jada Smith of Manipulating Will Smith into Slapping Chris Rock, Bad Boys 4 Star Says He Only Takes Orders From Daughter Willow Now

Source- The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast

Siddhika Prajapati
Siddhika Prajapati

Flights of occasional fantasies, strong opinions, encouraging hyperbole, and good grammar are what describe her. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism, she is the Senior Entertainment Writer at Animated Times, who is madly in love with the lights, camera, and action sector. An entertainment enthusiast by day, a dreamer, and occasionally a stargazer by night, she enjoys turning words into tiny yarn balls for poetry that readers might find admirable. You would find her buried under printed fiction who is heavily influenced by dark humor.

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