Will Smith’s high-powered talent agency was allegedly debating whether or not to fire the beleaguered actor after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett, and Kevin Huvane of the Creative Artists Agency faced a historic quandary when their client slapped Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife’s hair — then went on to win an Academy Award for his part in “King Richard,” according to the Daily Beast.
According to the site, an internal argument over the issue dominated the legendary agency’s executive conference at the posh Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. According to three people who talked with Lourd at the event, he advised numerous people that CAA — which is in the process of purchasing rival agency ICM, which represents Rock — should fire Smith. But Lovett, who represents the 53-year-old actor personally, did not want to lose him and was described as “frazzled” in the aftermath, according to the article.
The CAA’s predicament was exacerbated by the fact that the firm had previously been linked to infamous movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, according to the publication. Despite his infamous “slap heard ’round the world” and resignation from the Academy, the agency ultimately opted to keep Smith on its roster, according to the Daily Beast. The story, however, “has no veracity,” according to a CAA representative. “It just never occurred,” the representative stated.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two most high-profile Will Smith projects, Sony’s Bad Boys 4* and Netflix’s Fast and Loose, have been put on hold. This news comes just one day after Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following his shocking face-slap of Chris Rock during last week’s Oscars ceremony. So, are the talent agency and the studios abandoning one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, a man who just won an Oscar for Best Actor?