Academy condemns Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars, launches review

Academy condemns Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars, launches review

'He disgraced our entire community,' says Academy member Marshall Herskovitz

News Service AA

The slap seen around the world is no laughing matter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which on Monday condemned actor Will Smith for slapping comedian and presenter Chris Rock in the face during Sunday night’s broadcast of the Oscars.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the organization said in a statement. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.”

During the broadcast, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” said Rock, making an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head in comparison to Demi Moore’s US Navy Seals character’s military haircut in the movie G.I. Jane.

Smith then approached the stage – which was not shown on the broadcast, but was immediately released uncensored through online platforms – and slapped Rock across the face with an open hand.

“Oh wow. Wow,” a stunned Rock replied. “Will Smith just smacked the sh*t out of me.”

The cameras then cut back to Smith, who shouted at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”

Some Academy members were appalled by Smith’s actions.

“He disgraced our entire community tonight,” tweeted Academy member Marshall Herskovitz. “I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith.”

Smith went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard, but there is now speculation he may be stripped of his award for violating the Academy’s code of conduct.

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Rock “declined to file a police report,” but what the Academy decides to do is an entirely different matter.

“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the group tweeted immediately after Sunday night’s broadcast.

“He could have killed him,” director Judd Apatow said in a since-deleted tweet, “That’s pure out-of-control rage and violence.”

Smith has not yet received his gold statuette, and there is a possibility he never will, depending on what the Academy decides after its investigation.

“We’re not going to take that Oscar from him,” Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the Academy’s board of governors, said on The View. “There will be consequences, I’m sure.”


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