Will Smith Must Return His Oscar: Guest Column

The Film Academy’s decision to ban Will Smith from Oscar ceremonies and events for 10 years as discipline for Chris Rock’s slap is more than a prolonged out for a playground bully. It is a shameless punishment that reveals the shallowness of Hollywood morals.

At this point, the only person who can cash in on the integrity of the Oscars is Smith himself. He has to deal with the seriousness of the offense he committed: slapping Rock, live on March 27 in front of millions on the stage of the Oscars. Smith must mail his gold trophy back to the Academy and make a public statement about the following: his depositary. ”

Of the many disturbing things that were said after the slap, the most frightening to me was his reference to the influence of a higher power during the surrealist acceptance speech, as he won for his work on “King Richard” less than an hour after act of violence – and the Academy’s equally shocking decision not to expel Smith from the ceremony.

In his adventurous remarks, Smith said, “In this moment of my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and to be in this world,” he said.

This attempt to explain his actions added to the parody of this moral catastrophe. Expressing his acceptance speech as somehow submissive to God’s will, Smith relinquished personal responsibility.

Smith’s barbarity took away his prestige throughout the night. This was proved when the surprised attendees of the Oscars applauded standing up to someone who had just made an attack in front of their eyes.

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With a skillful hit, Will Smith created an existential crisis for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The incident hit the social rules so hard that it will gnaw on our national conscience until it is atoned for in some way. Smith, who resigned as an AMPAS member on April 1, was quick to accept his sentence when the 10-year ban was announced on April 8. But he needs to do more.

Given the rudeness of pop culture in the age of social media, it was no surprise that much of this year’s Oscar proceedings were often obscene. But it is an insult to God to entrust him with any part of the ungodly episode. To claim that some deterministic force was at play is to deny the sad fact that the case was purely human. Sure, a serious moral failure has occurred, but the psychology and philosophy that underpin this ongoing spectacle can very well be explained as an act of free will.

The stain at Motion Picture Academy cannot be easily repaired. The only hope for a justified pardon must include Smith voluntarily returning the Best Actor award.

Veteran actor Harry Lennix has had a steady presence in film and television since the late 1980s. Recent titles include “Billions”, “Insecure”, “The Blacklist”, “24” and “Emily Owens, MD”. , as well as the features “Man of Steel” (2013) and “Chi-Raq” (2015).

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