Will Smith Seemingly Just Poked Fun At 2022 And All The Brouhaha Surrounding The Oscars Slap Incident

Will Smith accepting his Oscar at the 2022 Academy Awards
(Image credit: ABC)

It’s almost hard to believe it, but we’re nearing the one-year anniversary of the 2022 Academy Awards. While these events always have a few viral moments, none have had the long-lasting effect of Will Smith stepping on stage and slapping Chris Rock on national television. The Oscar-winning actor has been working on his comeback over the last few months, including the release of Emancipation. And Smith seemingly just poked fun at 2022 and all the brouhaha surrounding the Oscars slap incident.

After slapping Chris Rock and winning the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard, Will Smith largely stepped away from the public eye. He went dark on social media and wasn’t seen for months, as discourse surrounding his actions raged on. But he's recently begun going out and doing public appearances again, even doing a press tour for his latest movie. He’s also back on social media, and seemingly poked fun at the last year with his new Instagram post, featuring a blooper from The Genie via Disney on Ice. Check it out below:

Well, there you have it. While Will Smith didn’t explicitly mention the Academy Awards or that infamous Slap incident, he definitely seems to be making reference to that challenging point in his life, and the fallout that has surrounded him since. And there will no doubt be plenty of references for the upcoming 2023 Academy Awards, which recently announced its nominations. 

The above video was shared to Will Smith’s 62.7 million followers on Instagram. He gave credit to the owner of the blooper video, while the caption simply reads “this is me in 2022.” As you can see, a Disney on Ice performer who was playing the Genie accidentally tumbled off the ice and onto a nearby pit. But they ultimately got up, and were able to finish “Friend Like Me” and hit that final pose. Talk about professionalism.

Given Will Smith’s caption, it’s hard not to see the story of his 2022 in this viral video from Disney on Ice. Like his character in Aladdin (which is his highest grossing movie of all time), the actor/recording artist/producer definitely fell hard after the Academy Awards. He dropped out of the film academy as a result of his actions, and was banned from attending the ceremony for a decade. And after seemingly being a recluse for months, he returned to the public eye and was able to celebrate the release of Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation.

It certainly seems like Will Smith’s comeback is in full effect, as he’s begun lining up big movie projects. He and Martin Lawrence are officially back for Bad Boys 4, and there are even rumors that he’s got a deal with Disney for Aladdin 2. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out, and if he nails that final pose like the figure skating Genie.

Will Smith has a number of projects hitting theaters over the next few years, as both a producer and actor. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.