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Sunday, June 23, 2024

“We’ve failed all the way.” The specter of the scandal from a year ago is back

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Janet Yang, the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, admitted at a meeting with nominees that the organization’s response to Will Smith’s behavior during last year’s Oscar gala was “insufficient”.

In less than a month, the jubilee, 95th Oscars gala, and it’s still hard to forget about the scandal that happened during last year’s because of Will Smith. At the annual gala lunch with this year’s nominees, Janet Yang, president of the Academy, emphatically emphasized that the organization was not up to the task then.

“You all remember the unprecedented event we experienced at last year’s gala,” she said during her speech. “What happened on stage was unacceptable and the response from our organization was insufficient,” she said.

Yang also stressed that on similar issues in the future, “the Academy should act quickly, with empathy and decisively.”

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“We failed all the way”

Speaking to a room full of Oscar 2023 nominees, including Actors Angela Bassett, Colin Farrell, Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett and Austin Butler, Janet Yang noted that the members of the Academy were completely unprepared for the situation that took place during the gala.

Yang has been the head of the Academy since August 2022. She is the first Asian to hold this position and the fourth woman in history. She works as a film producer.

“It was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and the Academy family around the world, and we failed all the way,” she concluded.

In the further part of her speech, she also emphasized that the Academy must be fully transparent and responsible in its activities, especially now, in times of crisis. The new president also pointed out the need to unite the entire film industry. In her opinion, the Academy plays a key role in this matter.

– The Academy is intended to be a driving force for the unity of our artists and audiences. Therefore, I call on everyone to make a joint effort to nurture this extraordinary, wonderful community that we create. United, respecting each other and loving the art of film, we are unstoppable.

Janet Yang during the meeting with the nominees for the Oscars 2023ALLISON DINNER/PAP/EPA

What happened at the 94th Oscars?

Last year during the gala the Oscars there was a surprising incident. Host Chris Rock at one point made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. The comedian said that he was looking forward to the movie “GI Jane 2” – thus commenting on the actress’ shaved head. Pinkett-Smith suffers from alopecia areata, which she has admitted publicly.

Will Smith did not like the joke. The actor first hurled insults at the comedian, then ran onto the stage and slapped an astonished Chris Rock. It is known that he was asked by the organizers to leave the gala, but he firmly refused. It was ironic that at the same gala, a little later, he reappeared on stage to accept the Oscar for his leading role in the film “King Richard: The Victorious Family”.

Several weeks of deliberations passed before the Academy, finding him guilty of violating its members’ standards of conduct, banned the actor from appearing at its events for the next 10 years. He had previously resigned from the organization.

Since then, the actor has repeatedly apologized for his behavior, both to Chris Rock (who refused to meet face to face), the Academy itself and the audience.

“Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at the Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. I deeply regret that it has tarnished an otherwise wonderful journey for all of us,” Smith wrote in an Instagram post the day after the incident.

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th OscarsETIENNE LAURENT/PAP/EPA

Initially, it seemed that the actor would be ostracized by the industry – right after the gala, Netflix moved “in the background” the premiere of the film “Fast and Loose” with his participation. Soon, however, he appeared in the lead role in Antoine Fuqui’s big historical production “Liberation”. Based on facts, a story set in the mid-nineteenth century, about a slave who is ready for anything for freedom and family, turned out to be a weak film.

Contrary to earlier fears, Smith is not in danger of losing his job. 4 productions with his participation are waiting for the start of shooting, including “Bad Boys 4”.

“The Hollywood Reporter”, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: ETIENNE LAURENT/PAP/EPA



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