What's Happened To Will Smith Since He Got Canceled

This article contains references to domestic violence. 

Will Smith was once at the top of the world. He was a best-selling author, an award-winning actor, and an influencer with a following in the millions. However, a heated altercation at the 2022 Oscars changed everything.

While Chris Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature Film, the comedian poked fun at Smith's wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith, for having a shaved head. "Jada, I love you. 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it, alright," Rock said. Following the joke, Smith walked on the stage, slapped the comedian across the face and cursed him out from his seat, saying "Keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth," as reported by E! Online.

Since the heated incident with Rock on stage, the "King Richard" star has faced intense criticism from his peers and fans, and he's faced severe consequences for his actions. Here's all that has happened to Smith since he got canceled.

Smith lost his Academy Award privileges

Almost immediately after the Oscars fray, Will Smith felt the heat from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization at the heart of the awards ceremony. In the week following the incident, the "Aladdin" star initiated a disciplinary action for himself and resigned from the Academy. In a statement obtained by CNN, Smith expressed regret for his actions and suggested he was dedicated to learning from his mistakes. " I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements," he wrote. "... So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate."

However, this wasn't the only punishment he received in conjunction with the Academy. In the days following the actor's resignation, the board of governors issued a statement that declared Smith would be banned from all Academy events, both virtual and in-person, for the next 10 years. Per NPR, the statement read, in part, "This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy."

Several of his film deals have fallen through

Many of Will Smith's film projects were negatively impacted by the Oscars incident. While some were simply put on the backburner, others appeared to have been abandoned altogether. On April 2, 2022, just days after the awards show, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Smith's upcoming film with Netflix, "Fast and Loose," had been put on hold. However, it's worth noting that the film's director, David Leitch, had also backed away from the project a week prior to the Oscars incident, which could have had an influence on the streaming giant's decision.

"Fast and Loose" was not the only Netflix gig Smith lost. According to CNET, the platform also canceled plans to start production on "Bright 2," a sequel to David Ayer's critically panned yet popular 2017 film, "Bright." Outside of Netflix, the "King Richard" actor also had his Disney+ nature show, "Pole to Pole," delayed. Meanwhile, Variety reported that the release date of his prestige Apple TV+ film, Antoine Fuqua's "Emancipation," had been pushed back to 2023. 

Others projects are still going strong

Though many film and television companies have dropped Will Smith from existing deals, others have stuck by the actor's side and remain unaffected by the Oscar controversy. For example, Smith's film, "Bad Boys 4," is still greenlit and has plans to move forward in production. Addressing the rumors that the film was stalled due to the incident, Sony chairman Tom Rothman told Deadline, "No. That was inaccurate. That movie's been in development and still is. There weren't any brakes to pump because the car wasn't moving." The chairman also noted that he has a years-long relationship with Smith and believes that while he had a bad moment, he's a decent guy who is deserving of forgiveness.

In addition to "Bad Boys 4," the actor is also allegedly in talks with his production company Westbrook Studios to star in "I Am Legend 2," a sequel to his popular 2007 film. Regarding the upcoming movie, a source claimed to The Sun, "The script is being written mentioning his character and as of yet, Will remains attached to the project." While the actor was seemingly still active in film projects, one place he was certainly not still active was on the internet.

His social media following skyrocketed

When someone is involved in such a controversial event, being canceled and subsequently losing fans and followers across social media is not only common but also expected. Prior to the Oscars altercation, Will Smith spent years growing his social media presence. He frequently posted vlogs on YouTube, shared behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram, and even dabbled on TikTok. His influencer status online is so important that the "Men in Black" actor once sternly told his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in an Instagram live video (via The New York Post), "My social media presence is my bread and butter. So you can't just use me for social media."

Thankfully for Smith, his bread and butter was not impacted in a negative way after the Oscars. As a matter of fact, while the star stepped back from updating his profiles, his social media following apparently skyrocketed. Following the incident, the star's Social Blade statistics (via HITC) seemed to indicate his Instagram followers increased by 163,000 followers to a total of 61.5 million. As of writing, the stars Instagram followers appeared to have increased even further to 64.2 million.

Clearly, in terms of social media, Smith still appears to hold a significant following, which can only help his comeback in the future.

Red Table Talk may address the incident

A large focus of the Oscars incident was Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The "Scream 2" star has been open about her experiences with alopecia, a hair loss condition, and her decision to shave her head because of it. She could be seen rolling her eyes at Chris Rock's jibe concerning her look prior to the on-stage fracas.

Jada is also the host of "Red Table Talk," an internet chat show that often tackles difficult and heavy subject matters in a real, raw manner. In the past, "Red Table Talk," has been a platform to address a variety of difficult and controversial subjects, from the Jordyn Woods cheating incident with Tristan Thompson to Pinkett Smith's entanglement with singer August Alsina. The Oscars incident may also be addressed on the show. In a note presented as a title card during the "Red Table Talk" season 5 premiere, Jada appeared to tease an upcoming episode about it. "Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focusing on deep healing," it read. "Some of the discoveries around our healing will be shared at the table when the time calls."

In an episode titled, "Alopecia: The Devastating Impact," the actor elaborated on the incident a little more. During a dedicated intro, she revealed, "My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile."

Many have publicly condemned his actions

Following the Oscars slap, Will Smith received an inordinate amount of public condemnation, not just from fans, but also from peers in his field. Immediately after the event, many celebrities took to social media to share their input on the situation. While some were more neutral and gentle in their responses, others were fiercely critical. 

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who has also faced her fair share of controversy and criticism, wrote on Twitter, "Let me tell you something, it's a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters." As reported by the New York Post, comedians and filmmakers such as Judd Apatow, Jeffrey Ross, and David Spade were among a handful of celebrities to criticize Smith for his actions.

While some public figures condemned Smith, others were compassionate and supportive. For example, "Girls Trip" actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish told People, "Maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives." Others that showed solidarity with Smith included Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg, and Denzel Washington whom the actor had thanked during his Oscars acceptance speech for consoling him following the incident. 

He was scrutinized by Chris Rock's family

Will Smith's fellow celebrity peers were not the only ones to condemn him for his actions at the Oscars. Several in Chris Rock's family, including his mother and brother, came forward to condemn the slap. Shortly after the incident, Smith issued a public apology on Instagram, which mentioned Rock. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong," the actor wrote in the post. However, Kenny Rock, the comedian's brother, wasn't pleased with the public attempt at contrition. Regarding the apology, Kenny told the Los Angeles Times, "No, I don't accept it because I don't think it was genuine. I think his publicist and the people that work under him probably advised him to do that." 

In a similar fashion, Rose Rock, mother to the comedian, told WIS-TV that when she witnessed the slap from her home television, she felt as if she was slapped as well. Suggesting that Smith hadn't personally contacted the comedian, she likewise criticized the actor's Instagram apology and said, "His people wrote up a piece saying I apologize to Chris Rock, but you see something like that is personal, you reach out."

As of writing, Chris has seldom addressed the event. However, days after the incident he told the crowd of his stand-up show that he was still processing the incident. He then quickly deflected to another subject, asking the audience, "So, how was your weekend?" (via CNBC)

Smith sought out therapy

Throughout his long career, Will Smith mostly managed to maintain a reputation for being a decent and respectable celebrity. Subsequently, the Oscar altercation may have seemed out of character to those who know him personally, as well as fans who love him. According to ET, Smith started going to therapy shortly after the incident took place, but other details, such as the type of therapy, as well as the location and therapy group, were not stated in the report.

Despite not knowing much about the actor's therapy sessions, sources have shared what may have pushed Smith to the point of yelling and slapping Chris Rock on stage. Regarding the incident, a source told The Sun, "Essentially ... Will was deeply triggered by Chris's demeaning comments about his wife's alopecia. He was taken straight back to childhood, seeing his mum getting abused by his dad." In his 2021 memoir, "Will," the actor touched upon the guilt he felt at being unable to step up and defend his mom. One day, after witnessing his dad hurt her so bad that she was spitting blood, Smith wrote, "Within everything that I have done since then ... there has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day."

The source further revealed to The Sun that Smith is eager to work through his childhood trauma in therapy, which will hopefully make a difference in how he approaches and deals with conflict in the future.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.