The Blacklist - Season 9

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For whatever reason, there are still people who insist on beating the deader than dead horse that is the incident in which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars.

Since the slap, Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he’s been banned from the Oscars for 10 years, agents have considered dropping him, and Netflix has halted projects involving the newly embattled actor.

But, apparently, all of that isn’t enough for actor Harry Lennix.

Lennix—the actor who incidentally played the jealous significant other of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s character in The Matrix franchise—decided he needed to write a whole op-ed piece for Variety in which he blasted the Academy for its “toothless penalty” against Smith. The guy from The Five Heartbeats also urged Smith to return his Oscar.

“Smith needs to express-mail his golden trophy back to the Academy and publicly state something to the effect of: ‘Out of respect for the 94 years of honor conferred upon this award, I do not in good conscience feel worthy of being its custodian,'” the guy who was Stacey Dash’s boyfriend at the beginning of Mo’ Money wrote. (Ironically, Dash turned out to be the real-life version of his character, but that’s a story for another day.)

That one guy from The Blacklist (I’m literally running out of movies and shows I remember Lennix being in, tbh) also took issue with Smith’s acceptance speech he gave when he won his Oscar for his portrayal in King Richard, specifically, when Smith said he was “overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”

“The most galling to me was his reference to the influence of a higher power,” Lennix wrote, “and the Academy’s equally shocking decision not to eject Smith from the ceremony.”

Since when is it a rule that a man can’t still be a believer after slapping someone? Even Jesus turned over a table or two.

Anyway, please continue—guy who I just remembered was in that show, Billions.

“Smith’s brutality stripped the entire evening of its prestige,” Lennix wrote. “That was proven when stunned Oscar attendees gave a standing ovation to someone who’d just committed an assault in front of their eyes.”
The Oscars has granted awards to some of the vilest human beings in Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby have only recently been expelled from the Academy. Before this year, #OscarsSoWhite was among Black people’s favorite hashtags. But please, tell us more about what a sacred stage of prestige the Oscars was and how Will single-handedly desecrated it.
Or better yet, how about we all shut up about it already. The outrage has gotten pretty old and stale at this point, hasn’t it?