At this year's Academy Awards, the traditional invitation for Best Actor winner Will Smith to return to the ceremony to present the Best Actress award is absent due to a decade-long ban stemming from an incident last year. During the 94th Annual Academy Awards, Smith was awarded Best Actor for his role in King Richard, the first of his career, but he is not expected to present an award at this year's ceremony.
Typically, the winner of the Best Actor award is invited to the next year's ceremony to present the award for Best Actress, and vice versa for the winners of Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. This is not expected to be the case for Smith, who slapped Chris Rock onstage for cracking a joke about his wife.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the program's producers have yet to announce who will present the Best Actress award, one of the most coveted of the night. Last year's other major acting award winners have been announced as presenters for this year's show, including Jessica Chastain, Ariana DeBose, and Troy Kotsur. Nominees for Best Actress include Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, Andrea Riseborough, Michelle Williams, and Michelle Yeoh.
Chris Rock has not been announced as a presenter. It was Rock's joke that precipitated the incident with Smith, and Rock has only recently addressed the incident in his live Netflix comedy special Selective Outrage.
In response to last year's incident, Academy CEO Bill Kramer said the organization implemented a “crisis team” to react to potential emergencies. They have also “run many scenarios” to be prepared in case something similar happens.
The Academy Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.