Will Smith's Career Takes Another Big Hit After Oscars Slap

The fallout from the slap at the 2022 Academy Awards continues. After comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head — a hairstyle she wears due to having alopecia — her husband, Will Smith, stormed the stage and slapped Rock across the face. Smith then returned to his seat and yelled at Rock to "keep my wife's name out your f****** mouth" (per The Washington Post).

While Smith gave an emotional acceptance speech when he won the best actor award for "King Richard," and later apologized directly to Rock on Instagram, the Academy made it clear that there would be repercussions for Smith's actions and launched a formal view, per USA Today. Before they could complete it, Smith made the decision to resign from the Academy, acknowledging in a statement (via CNBC) that he "betrayed the trust of the Academy." He added, "I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film."

Although he has given up his voting privileges as an Academy member, Smith will most likely keep his Oscar and can be nominated for future projects. But many of those endeavors have now been put on hold because of the actor's behavior.

Will Smith's career has stalled due to the slap

Will Smith's future projects are being put on hold after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has postponed an upcoming film with Smith, and Sony is reportedly putting a pin in developing "Bad Boys 4." Smith also has a drama titled "Emancipation" in post-production with Apple+, but the streaming service has yet to announce a release date. 

Many are now wondering if Smith's career can survive. Some PR experts believe he will likely do a sit-down interview with someone like Oprah Winfrey, and that the actor will be scrutinized more closely going forward. "Will is not only going to have to be on his best behavior, he's going to have to be a saint," Jeff Bock, a media analyst with Exhibitor Relations, told Variety. But he added that "Hollywood loves nothing more than a redemption story. That may be the most challenging role of his career."

While Smith's career has stalled for the time being, many fans predicted that the incident could turn out to be a good thing for Rock's career – and they were right. Ticket prices for his comedy tour have skyrocketed since the incident, with Variety reporting that prices have gone from a starting price of $46 per ticket to a whopping $341.