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Sony Chairman Denies ‘Bad Boys 4’ Was Halted Due to Will Smith’s Oscars Slap

Will Smith has been receiving some immense backlash since slapping comedian Chris Rock while he was presenting onstage at the Academy Awards ceremony. The actor has since apologized for his actions, accepted a decade-long ban from Oscars-related activities, and has had production paused on several of his upcoming projects, which reportedly included “Bad Boys 4.” However, Sony says those reports about the ”Bad Boys” project are “inaccurate.” 

In a recent interview with Deadline, Chairman Tom Rothman denied allegations that the studio was pausing production on the action film following Smith’s behavior at the Oscars, telling the outlet, “No. That was inaccurate.” Instead, the movie executive stated that “BB4” has “been in development and still is.”

(L-R) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence accept the Outstanding Motion Picture of the Year Award for ‘Bad Boys for Life’ during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27, 2021. (Photo by 52nd NAACP Image Awards via Getty Images)

He continued, “There weren’t any brakes to pump because the car wasn’t moving. That was a very unfortunate thing that happened, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment, except to say that I’ve known Will Smith for many years, and I know him to be a good person. That was an example of a very good person having a very bad moment in front of the world. I believe his apology and regret is genuine, and I believe in forgiveness and redemption.”

Smith left his seat on Sunday, March 26, to go up on stage and slap Rock after the “New Jack City” actor made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head, but his actions did not come without consequences.  While plans for “BB4” apparently haven’t changed, the fate of Smith’s other feature films, including Netflix’s forthcoming sci-fi sequel “Bright 2” and the action movie “Fact & Loose,” were also shelved. 

The announcement comes just days after Netflix released the actor’s interview with legendary late-night host David Letterman for his series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” In the episode, which was taped two months before the Oscars took place, Smith admitted to experiencing psychedelic hallucinations and that he once had visions of his fall from grace.

While taking the South American hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca, Smith said, “And I’m sitting there, and you always feel like, ‘Maybe it won’t kick in this time.’ So I’m drinking and sitting there, and then all of a sudden, it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away, and my house is flying away, and my career is going away.” He added, “My whole life is getting destroyed.” 

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