Will Smith Wins Second Best Actor, Set to Host 96th Academy Awards



US actor Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “King Richard” onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Vince Kim


In response to the relatively quiet Academy Awards in recent years, groundbreaking moments unfolded at this year’s Oscars in early March. The Everything Everywhere All At Once crew racked up trophy after trophy, despite having none of the actors or actresses seen anywhere during the ceremony. Avatar: Way of the Water and All Quiet on the Western Front were also commended for excellent filmmaking, under the eyes of Hollywood’s icons. But, perhaps the real scene-stealer of the night was none other than Will Smith.

Making his first public appearance since his infamous slap on Chris Rock,  Will Smith, the man on a mission, set out to make his slap an Academy tradition. Just a week before, the Academy had officially reevaluated Smith’s apology during his acceptance speech for Best Actor to the Academy and his loved ones, not including Rock himself. After the Academy lifted the one-year ban, Smith stepped onto the red carpet and angrily walked up to the reporter to get the mic into his hand. When the reporter then asked how Smith hopes to redeem himself from the slapping incident, he replied, “Keep my name out your f******g mouth!”

Those standing by roared in approval, as Smith then casually walked through the doors of the Dolby Theater. Later that evening, Smith was awarded his Second Best Actor in 2 years for his role in Emancipation. As he got out of his seat to claim the award, host Jimmy Kimmel was nowhere to be seen on stage. When asked about his sudden disappearance in the post-ceremony interview, Kimmel commented, “I was not ready to suffer the same fate as the previous fellow comedian.”

Compared to the awkward, tense acceptance speech last year, Smith delivered an agenda for the next decade of Oscars to come. The new “Will Smith Plan” includes several groundbreaking ideas. For one thing, each year’s best actor now gets to slap the host and, for another, nobody will ever make jokes about anybody’s family member, especially a rapper’s. 

The idea for such tradition has gained so much traction among Oscar viewers that Smith himself is now set to host the Oscars alongside Chris Rock in 2024. Unfortunately, the host to be slapped next year may again be Chris Rock, though he may now prepare for this event!