Will Smith's Oscars Slap Could Come Back To Bite Him Later

Will Smith's Oscars drama isn't over. The 53-year-old became one of the most-talked-about actors at the 2022 Oscars — not for his award-winning portrayal of Richard Williams in "King Richard" — but for slapping Chris Rock on stage and telling him to keep his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's name "out of [his] f***king mouth."

The slap seen around the world has prompted a wave of criticism against Will and the Academy for not diffusing the situation immediately. The Academy released a statement shortly after the incident, but amended it 24 hours later, saying they will start a "formal review around the incident" and will "further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law," per Vanity Fair.

While critics and celebrities alike think that it'll be unlikely that Will will be stripped of his Best Actor trophy, there is a chance that he will face other consequences, including a ban for next year's Oscars. Here's everything we know about the options the Academy is exploring.

Will Smith's slap could cost him a future nomination

While Will Smith joked about the possibilities that the Academy won't invite him back to the Oscars during his acceptance speech, there is actually a chance that he could also be ineligible to contend for an award. Matt Belloni from Puck News told "Today" on March 29 that the Academy is "upset" by what happened between Will and Chris Rock and isn't scared to hand down suspensions.

"The members I've spoken to are just appalled that this took place on the Oscar stage," Belloni said. "There will be a punishment. I don't think they will take away his Oscar ... that is for ['King Richard'], for the work he's done." Belloni, however, said he wouldn't be shocked if the Academy decides to suspend Will for perhaps six months or a year to "really give him a public lashing, so to speak," noting that Will has got a movie out next year that would be eligible.

According to Page Six, the movie Belloni is referring to is "Emancipation," which stars Will, Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa, and others. The movie is expected to be released later this year, but could see changes to its scheduling depending on the probe. Meanwhile, a source close to Will told People that the actor didn't think of any consequences when he stormed the stage. "Jada was the only thing he was concerned about," the source said. "He didn't even consider the ramifications or how shocking he would look."