Janet Yang, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said that if Will Smith wants to get his Oscar statuette engraved, it can be arranged, despite being banned from the awards for a decade due to “that slap.”
“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,”
-Janet Yang, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
As per tradition, Oscar winners attend the Governor’s Ball after the award ceremony where they get their names engraved on their statuettes. Smith who won the Oscar for his performance in King Richard did not attend the Governors Ball on account of the now iconic incident where we slapped Chris Rock on-stage for cracking a joke about his wife. He was subsequently banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years. Smith’s Oscar, therefore, remains unengraved.
Yang was asked by THR’s Scott Feinberg if Will Smith can have his Oscars engraved. “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,” the President of the Academy replied.
On being asked what went through her mind when she saw the slap, Yang said, “Truly, we were numb. Like everyone else, in the beginning, when Will walks onto the 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,’” she added. “And then it was like, ‘Ok, well that’s over.’ And then he goes back to his seat and then he starts shouting — that’s when, of course, everyone said, ‘Oh my God, this is real.’”