Will Smith's memoir gets a sales spike post-Oscars slap; 'Half Baked Harvest' tops best sellers list

Mary Cadden
USA TODAY

It appears "that slap" has had a ripple effect beyond Hollywood. Just a week after Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face at the 94th Academy Awards and chastised the comic by screaming "Keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth," his 2021 memoir "Will" (Penguin Press, 432 pp.) returned to the USA TODAY Best-Selling Books, appearing at No. 73. The book debuted on the list last November at No. 3 and remained on the list for 15 weeks. 

In the book, the actor details his life both in and out of the spotlight, from his early rap career in Philadelphia to his troubled relationship with his abusive father. With the help of author Mark Manson ("The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck"), Smith reflects on the pivotal highlights of his impressive career (such as meeting Nelson Mandela and being selected by executive producer Steven Spielberg to star in 1997's "Men in Black") without failing to share his lowest moments as a celebrity, father, son and husband. 

“Will,” by Will Smith with Mark Manson.

Moments after the slap – which was prompted by a joke Rock made about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her bald head (Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia) – Smith accepted the Oscar for best actor for his role as Venus and Serena Williams' father in "King Richard," dubbing the patriarch a "fierce defender of his family." 

Smith has since issued an apology to Rock on Instagram. "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," he wrote. Smith also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying in a statement, "I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.” 

The Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences on Friday ruled Will Smith will not be allowed to attend any Academy events for 10 years following the actor's conduct at the Oscars.

"The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards," the organization said in a statement Friday.

5 surprising revelations:Will Smith talks domestic violence, suicide and Tupac Shakur in new memoir

'A darkness arose within me':Will Smith writes of abusive dad, wanting to 'avenge' his mom

Half Baked Harvest tops the list 

"Half Baked Harvest Every Day," by Tieghan Gerard

Tieghan Gerard's latest cookbook, "Half Baked Harvest Every Day: Recipes for Balanced, Flexible, Feel-Good Meals: A Cookbook" (Clarkson Potter, 288 pp.), debuted at No. 1 this week on the best sellers list, one of only six cookbooks to snag the top spot in the nearly 30-year history of USA TODAY's list. 

This is not the first time Gerard has made the list. The award-winning food blogger's "Half Baked Harvest Super Simple" debuted at No. 12 on the best sellers list in 2019 and remained in the top 150 for 11 weeks. 

It is not just a big week for Gerard but a big week for cookbooks in general, with three other cookbooks debuting on the list: "Genius Kitchen," by USA TODAY Bestselling author Max Lugavere, at No. 35; "Korean American," by Eric Kim, at No. 88; and "Salad Freak," by food stylist Jess Damuck, at No. 133.

Contributing: Jenna Ryu, Hannah Yasharoff, Charles Trepany USA TODAY