“Is That a Punishment?” – The Hollywood Reporter

After Saturday Night Live joked about Will Smith’s infamous Oscars moment in several segments of the episode that aired April 2, it seemed likely that the NBC series would take a moment this week to address the latest development.

During Saturday’s installment of “Weekend Update,” co-host Colin Jost brought up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Friday announcement that the King Richard star had been banned from all of the organization’s events, including the Academy Awards ceremonies, for the next 10 years after slapping presenter Chris Rock during last month’s Oscars.

“As punishment for slapping Chris Rock, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars for 10 years,” Jost said. “But is that a punishment? He can still be nominated. He can even win an award. He can even go to the after-party.”

Jost continued, “He just doesn’t have to attend the four-hour ceremony where someone is definitely going to make fun of his wife again.”

The SNL star followed up the joke by showing a photo of himself and fellow “Weekend Update” anchor Michael Che looking uncomfortable while co-hosting the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2018.

“Honestly, I think a real punishment would be to make Will Smith host next year’s Oscars,” Jost quipped. “Because, trust me, nothing will make you question your choices in life more than hosting an awards show.”

The Academy’s board of governors conducted a special meeting Friday to discuss taking action against Smith, who apologized to the Academy after the slap while accepting his best actor Oscar. On April 1, Smith announced he was resigning as a member of the group.

Since Friday’s decision, dozens of Academy members have shared their reactions with The Hollywood Reporter, with one member deeming the punishment “too much” and another assessing it as “too little and too late.”

Smith issued a brief statement Friday to say he will “accept and respect” the decision. Meanwhile, Rock has remained mostly mum regarding the altercation that followed the comedian’s Oscars joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a shaved head. (The actress has alopecia.)

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