In a statement Monday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Will Smith’s slap attack on Chris Rock. The incident happened during the 94th Academy Awards last Sunday.
Smith, who eventually won Best Actor that night, earlier stormed the stage to slap presenter Chris Rock over a joke.
Academy to Investigate Smith’s Slap Attack on Rock
In a statement, the Academy promised to investigate the matter further. “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show.
We have officially started a formal review around the incident,” it said. In addition, it “will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct, and California law.”
CNN reported that during the incident, members of the Academy leadership “strongly considered” removing Smith from the live telecast.
However, organizers had a hard time getting input from Academy decision makers at the moment. They all sat on different spots in the Dolby Theater.
As a result, the Academy couldn’t mobilize in time to make a decision before the stage announced Smith as Best Actor.
Will Smith’s Slap Attack Didn’t Lead to Any Repercussions That Night
In his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees. The Academy itself seemed to move on from the incident.
It tweeted “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Rock himself declined to press charges against Smith. The Los Angeles Police Department acknowledged the incident happened, but that the victim decided not to pursue the matter.
Smith himself basked in the glow of his victory the rest of the night. He even attended the Awards night after-party.
Academy Leaders Met on Monday To Discuss Incident
However, behind the scenes, members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences are buzzing.
Members of the organization behind the Oscar awards met on Monday via video conference to discuss what happened.
Initially, the group couldn’t agree on how to respond to Smith’s aggressive slap attack on Rock. Sources described the meeting as “heated” and “divided.”
A dozen members who met include some of the most influential and recognizable members of the Academy. They include prominent directors, producers, and actors.
While the group does not possess any disciplinary powers, the Board of Governors will likely listen to their advice.
Did the Academy Mishandle The Entire Incident?
Some group members said that the Academy mishandled the entire slap attack incident. This includes the seemingly nonchalant tweet after the event.
Others felt that the Academy did all that it could and can do nothing further. The Academy’s Board of Governors can discipline members who violate their code of conduct through a vote for suspension or expulsion.
Meanwhile, the actor issued another apology, this time on Instagram. He addressed it to Rock and others. Smith acknowledged that as an actor, he knows how to roll with the punches.
However, he also seemed to point out that his wife, Jada, who is an actress herself, should remain off limits. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.
Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
Watch the E! News video reporting that Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for Oscars 2022 Slap:
What should the Academy do after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage? Should they investigate further and hand out penalties if warranted? Or, should they just move and pretend nothing criminal happened that night?
Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.