Saturday Night Live has pocked fun at Will Smith’s 10-year Oscars ban, suggesting a more fitting punishment would be for the actor to host next year’s award show.
The Academy handed Smith the ban, which includes all Academy events, in response to his slapping host Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars 2022 last month.
SNL’s own “Weekend Update” host, Colin Jost, was not convinced the ban was a fitting punishment for the slap, which happened after Rock joked about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett’s hair loss caused by alopecia.
“But is that a punishment?” asked Jost this weekend after detailing the ban.
“He can still be nominated, even win an award, he can even go to the afterparty. He just doesn’t have to attend the four hour ceremony… where someone is definitely going to make fun of his wife again.”
“Honestly, I think a real punishment would be to make Will Smith host next year’s Oscars.
“Because trust me, nothing will make you question your life choices more than hosting an awards show,” before a picture of him and fellow “Weekend Update” host Michael Che onstage at the Emmy Awards in 2018 was shown.
“I loved it,” Che retorted cheekily.
Smith won Best Actor for his performance as Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
Some Academy members and many movie fans have called for Smith to be stripped of the award following his onstage attack on Rock.
In a brief statement following the announcement of the ban, Smith said in a statement: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
“At this point, the only person who can redeem the integrity of the Oscars is Smith himself,” Lennix wrote in a guest column in Variety on Saturday.
The Academy has only expelled five members in its 94-year history:
- Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out in 2004 for sharing copied screeners of movies with people outside the Academy.
- Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein being expelled in 2017 after multiple reports of sexual harassment emerged. Weinstein was later found guilty of rape.
- Director Roman Polanski and comedian-actor Bill Cosby were removed the following year—Cosby for his 2018 sexual assault conviction (later overturned) and Polanski for his guilty plea to unlawful intercourse with a minor in 1977.
- Adam Kimmel, a cinematographer, was expelled in 2021 after Variety unearthed his history as a registered sex offender charged with crimes against underage girls.