Will Smith Charity Closing After Oscars Slap Controversy

By Douglas Helm | Published

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According to Variety, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation is in the process of shutting down following Will Smith’s infamous Oscar slap in 2022. Tax filings show that several high contributors stopped donating to the foundation after the incident. The foundation was started in 1996 and primarily acts as an incubator that provides grants to individuals and organizations to pursue projects related to a variety of issues.

Will And Jada Smith Family Foundation

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Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s foundation revenue dropped from $1.76 million in 2020 and $2.13 million in 2021 to just $365,870 in 2022. This is a whopping 83% year-over-year drop that occurred due to lost donors like American Airlines and the Creative Arts Agency (CAA). The latter donated over $100,000 in 2021 and the former contributed over $76,000.

Now Donating Privately

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A source close to the foundation indicated to Variety that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith would adjust their focus to donating the same amount of money to charities privately rather than through their foundation.

The Smith family has yet to comment. In 2022, the couple donated, through the Foundation, to organizations such as the American Film Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rebecoming, and World Rebirth Foundation.

Curious Donations

It remains to be seen what Will Smith and Jada Pinkett’s 2023 tax filings look like for the foundation, as those are expected to be released in the upcoming months.

However, some of Variety’s investigation into the donations made in 2022 yielded some curious information. The Rebecoming company, which received $15,000 in donations from the foundation, hasn’t updated its website since 2020, though it has filed tax paperwork through 2022.

Other Questionable Moves

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Attempts to contact the organization by Variety went unanswered, and its listed NYC address is an unmarked door between a dry cleaner and a pizzeria.

Meanwhile, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation also donated $10,00 to Worth Rebirth Foundation, which doesn’t have a live website and has a typo-riddled mission statement on its Facebook page.

Variety’s attempts to contact the World Rebirth Foundation were sent to a voicemail for a company called Platinum City Entertainment & Films.

Expenditures And More

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Additionally, the Will and Jada Smith Foundation claimed expenditures of office equipment and computers, despite the fact that no paid staff worked for the organization as of 2022.

It will be interesting to see if the 2023 tax filings continue this trend. In the meantime, Will Smith himself has been busy remaking his image in the wake of the slap.

More Will Smith Coming

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Will Smith is set to star in the upcoming Bad Boys 4 and the Netflix film Fast and Loose. The fourth film in the Bad Boys franchise recently revealed the trailer for the film, titled Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

Smith and Martin Lawrence both reprise their roles for the film and are joined by cast members Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Eric Dane, Paola Nunez, Rhea Seehorn, Tasha Smith, and Ioan Gruffudd.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who directed the last film in the franchise, return to direct. Bad Boys: Ride or Die will be one of Smith’s biggest blockbusters since the Oscar controversy, so it will be interesting to see how well it does. The film hits theaters on June 7.

Source: Variety