Richard E Grant opens BAFTAs with Will Smith slap joke

Richard E Grant opens BAFTAs with Will Smith slap joke

Richard E. Grant referred to the Oscars slaps in his opening speech at the BAFTAS 2023.

At the ceremony on Tuesday (February 19) at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the actor, who hosted the ceremony alongside Alison Hammond, told the crowd: “No one under my watch is getting slapped tonight except in the back.”

The joke refers to the moment Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, at last year’s Oscars.

After a number of apologies following the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy and was later banned from attending any Academy events for 10 years.

Will Smith Chris Rock
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars. Credit: Getty Images

Last July, Smith posted an apology video to answer questions surrounding the incident. “I contacted Chris [Rock] and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he’ll reach out.

In the west, nothing is new led the BAFTA winners, scooping seven awards, including Best Picture and Non-English Language Film.

The Banshees of Inisherinwhich was nominated for 10 awards, won four trophies, including Supporting Actor for Kerry Condon and Supporting Actor for Barry Keoghan.

Other winners include Austin Butler, who won Best Actor for Elvisand Cate Blanchett who won the lead actress award for LIBRARY. You can consult the full list of winners here.

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