Oscars Break With Tradition As Halle Berry Fills In Presenting For Banned Will Smith

One of Oscar’s long-running traditions is for an acting winner to return the following year to present the award to the distaff winner in their category the following year.

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The Academy faced a conundrum this year as 2022 Lead Actor winner Will Smith had been banned from the awards show for 10 years following the incident last year when he slapped presenter Chris Rock.

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Their solution — have 2022 Best Actress winner Jessica Chastain be joined by 2002 Best Actress winner Halle Berry as the two presented together both the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars.

The statuettes went to Brendan Fraser for The Whale and Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Smith was banned by the Academy after he strode to the Oscar stage last year when Rock, who was presenting the Documentary Feature category, made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Following the incident, Smith went back to his seat. Later in the evening, he won the Best Actor prize for his role in King Richard and gave a lengthy acceptance speech.

This year’s Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel addressed the slap in his opening monologue.

“If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show,” he said, “you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor, and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.”

Smith starred in Apple’s 2022 film Emancipation, which was not nominated.

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