The phrase “Will Smith Psychiatric Hospital” trended on Google on April 9, 2022. So what’s up? Is Will Smith in a mental institution?
The story is unconfirmed. Heavy has traced it back to a completely unsubstantiated claim in the Sun, a British tabloid.
It is confirmed that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences banned Smith from attending the Academy Awards or other Academy-sanctioned events for 10 years for slapping Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars.
“The Board has determined that for a period of 10 years beginning April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not participate, in person or virtually, in any Academy event or program, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” President of the Academy David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson told CNN in a statement on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Sun’s story is credited to a “Hollywood insider,” who is not named
The history of the mental hospital has been picked up by other sites like Black Sports Online, but they hark back to the story in The Sun. No credible media outlets have reported this story as fact.
Some of the stories attributed the claims to The Sun but didn’t even link to the underlying article. The original story can be found here. It ran on April 2, 2022.
The Sun headlined: “CHILL SMITH Will Smith retires in plush celebrity retreat as Chris Rock puts on a brave face after Oscar slap.”
The story contains no named sources on this question and never uses the term “psychiatric hospital”. Instead, an unnamed “Hollywood insider” was quoted as saying: “The effects of the backlash have hit Will hard so he’ll be getting help dealing with stress. This is undoubtedly the battle of his career. It’s going to be a high-end retreat used by the rich and famous and he’s going to be searching a lot for his soul and figuring out how to get ahead.”
Without further scrutiny, the history of the Will Smith psychiatric hospital should be taken with a grain of salt and not as confirmed fact.
Smith has not commented on the psychiatric hospital rumors but has condemned “violence in all its forms.”
Will Smith has not issued an official statement confirming or denying the story that he is in a mental hospital. His last Instagram post came a week before this story and reads:
Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s health was too much for me and I reacted emotionally.
I want to apologize to you publicly, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I’m embarrassed and my actions were no indication of the man I want to be. In a world of love and kindness there is no place for violence.
I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the contestants and all viewers around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behavior marred what was otherwise a beautiful journey for all of us.
I am at work.
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https://heavy.com/news/will-smith-mental-hospital-rehab/ Will Smith Mental Hospital Story: Rehab Rumors Investigated