Will Smith's Oscars Acceptance Speech May Have Just Ruined His Career

Unless you've been living under a rock you're probably well aware by now of the deeply inappropriate slap heard 'round the world at the 2022 Oscars, but if not here's the CliffsNotes version.

Mere moments after comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head wherein he insinuated that she would be starring in "G.I. Jane 2," actor Will Smith promptly hopped on the stage and struck Rock in the face. Afterward, it's reported that the "King Richard" star could be seen back in his chair shouting the words, "Keep my wife's name out of your [expletive] mouth," per BBC News. Alas, that was only the very tip of the iceberg. Strangely enough, shortly after Will's violent outburst, he was invited back up on stage to receive an award for Best Actor. "I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Smith said without acknowledging his victim directly, per Variety. "Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams," Smith awkwardly joked before eventually making a desperate plea to the powers that be at the awards show. "Thank you. I hope the Academy invites me back."

So could it be that Will has been permanently 86'd from the Academy Awards ceremony? And worse — is it possible that his career might be ruined by the incident forever? The answers just might surprise you.

The Academy said they do 'not condone violence of any form'

Only time will tell whether or not Will Smith's violent 2022 Oscars outburst will prove to be a career ruiner, but it appears there are a lot of people who think it should be.

Shortly after the awards show wrapped, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences took to their official Instagram account to release a statement regarding Smith's behavior. "The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world," the organization tweeted

Still, many users didn't believe the statement was enough. "You watched and broadcast a live assault to millions of people around the world, then awarded a man who committed said assault immediately afterward without removing him from the building or having him arrested for the crime. That's the definition of condoning the violence," one user penned. Meanwhile, another wrote, "You gave an assault perpetrator five uninterrupted minutes on a global platform to excuse his behaviour. You don't just condone violence. You endorse and amplify it!"

Will Smith could be stripped of his Oscar

Following the incident, many couldn't help but wonder if Will Smith would be forced to give his highly-coveted Oscar back. "It's basically assault. Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable," one source dished to the New York Post. "I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now," they added. 

Others, however, are adamant that Smith should definitely be stripped of the award. "I hope to God the Academy makes him give back that Oscar because he sure as hell doesn't deserve it. He should be ashamed of his actions tonight," one user tweeted. Meanwhile, another penned, "Will Smith needs to give back that Oscar, if that was kanye, what would've happened?.... Give it back, violence is not the answer when he laughed at the joke."

Still, another argued that Smith should be able to keep the award. "What Will Smith did yesterday was stupid and reckless. However I don't believe he needs to give back his well deserved #Oscar. If Harvey Weinstein, a convicted rapist and sex offender, hasn't given back his, then Willard should put his proudly on a mantle," the user wrote.

Will Smith will not face any criminal charges

It should be noted, however, that while Will Smith may deal with some negative consequences professionally speaking, he is not currently facing any criminal charges.

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the police department confirmed in a statement to CNN. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report." In short: Chris Rock is not going to press charges — a move that left many scratching their heads. "Chris Rock has been contacted by the LAPD and is declining to press charges. No, I'm not kidding," one bewildered user tweeted

Still, another user commended the comedian for not involving the law. "Notice that Chris Rock didn't try to hit back. He didn't even press charges. Cause he's real man, not a baby. Rock is a class act and a professional. And if you're defending or excusing Smith's actions, then you are neither of those," the user penned.