Harry Lennix tells Will Smith to return the Oscar and gets grilled on Twitter

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 08: Harry Lennix attends a Q&A after the premiere screening of H4 of Harry Lennix, A Reimagined Retelling of Parts 1 & 2 of Shakespeare’s Henry IV on February 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California . (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for H4)

Actor Harry Lenix is urging Will Smith to return his Best Actor Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he slapped Chris Rock at the awards ceremony on March 27.

In an Op/Ed for VarietyLennix called Smith a “tyrant” and accused the Academy of allowing the King Richard’s Star failing to have him escorted out of the auditorium and imposing a helpless sanction that he says is little more than “time out.”

lennix wrote:

The stain on the Motion Picture Academy cannot be easily repaired. The only hope of a justifiable pardon must involve Smith voluntarily returning his Best Actor award.

There was tangible outrage in Lennix’s words as he berated everyone who gave Best Actor a standing ovation after Smith “committed an assault in front of their eyes”.

Lennix said he believed Smith was unworthy of the Oscar honor because he created an “existential crisis” for the organization. He acknowledged and endorsed Smith’s resignation from the Academy on April 1, but believes a 10-year ban from attending the Oscars is insufficient. Lennix suggested more action is needed to correct Smith’s mistakes.

The internet was quick to applaud Lennix for his Op/Ed.

A user commented Lennix’s support for Joss Whedoneven after allegations of abuse came to light about the director.

Another user suggested Lennix was driven by envy of Smith’s accomplishments.

Adrienne Lawrence, host of Young Turksalso chastised Lennix, suggesting he was positioning himself in the narrative to gain attention:

A Twitter exchange between Variety editors seemed to agree that Lennix’s Op/Ed publication was tone-deaf. Clayton Davis, awards editor and Oscars-Emmys analyst tweeted:

It seems that with Will Smith’s resignation from the Academy and the ten-year ban, the saga is coming to an end, but as with everything else we’ll have to see.

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