Jada Pinkett Smith made her first appearance since the infamous Oscars slap over the weekend while attending the grand opening of the Shonda Rhimes Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.
The 50-year-old actress looked stunning as she glistened and shimmered in a long sparkling strapless gold gown, sporting a fresh buzz cut. The event brought together some of the biggest names in Hollywood from Samuel L. Jackson to Debbie Allen, who recently announced that the Debbie Allen Dance Academy would be moving to Rhimes’ buzzing performing arts center.
Pinkett Smith took to Instagram to congratulate the legendary actress and choreographer on the big move.
“@therealdebbieallen said wrap it all in gold and come let the kids fill your soul. Congrats Debbie on the opening of your Debbie Allen Dance Academy @officialdadance!” the Red Table Talk host wrote.
“You are the legacy that so many other legacies will stand upon. Thank you for ALL that you do.”
While Pinkett Smith appeared to be all smiles during the event, her husband Will Smith, on the other hand, has been under serious scrutiny since slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards show last month. As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, Will Smith has been banned from attending the awards in person and virtually for the next 10 years due to his unexpected outburst.
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a lengthy statement on April 8, regarding the decision, noting how the ceremony was “overshadowed” by the King Richard star’s “unacceptable and harmful behavior.”
“We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters, and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast,” the Academy’s statement read. “This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy.”
The Fresh Prince alum has since resigned from the Academy and in a brief statement to PageSix, Smith said:
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
The Oscars committee has faced backlash over the ruling, with many arguing that the Academy has not issued harsh punishments to past winners like directors Roman Polanski and Harvey Weinstein, who were both charged and convicted with rape and sexual assault.
“BREAKING: Will Smith banned by the Hollywood Academy, 12 days after he slapped Chris Rock,” Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter following the news. “It took the same Academy 40 years to ban Roman Polanski after he was convicted of raping a child,” he added.
Polanski won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2003 for The Pianist, nearly 26 years after he was charged with raping and drugging a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. Never once did he face backlash from the Academy or was asked to have his award rescinded. Neither was Weinstein, who won an Oscar for Shakespeare In Love in 1999. The controversial film producer was sentenced to 23 years in prison after he was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape in 2020.
Wajahat Ali from the Daily Beast also chimed in on the discourse, calling the Academy’s decision “extreme and unnecessary.”
“But the Academy gave Roman Polanski an Oscar & the crowd stood up with a standing ovation. It’s all a mess. I hope people stop worshipping celebrities & politicians. You’re seeing behind the curtain now. It’s ugly,” he added.
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