Will Smith will face ‘consequences’ for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, but just how severe can they be?
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences says it condemns the actions of Will Smith during Sunday night’s Oscars and it will launch a formal review of his slapping of presenter Chris Rock.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Monday condemned the actions of Will Smith during Sunday night’s Oscars and launched an inquiry into his slapping of presenter Chris Rock. In a statement Monday, The AMPAS said, “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. 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.” An emergency meeting of the Academy’s board of governors has been called for Wednesday.
Possible ramifications for such behaviour include expulsion, public or private reprimanding, and revocation of Academy Awards won by an offender.
The fallout from Smith’s actions during Sunday’s ceremony continued Monday as Hollywood and the public continued to wrestle with a moment that stunned the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home. Smith shocked the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock, appearing as a presenter, joked: “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”
The joke touched a nerve. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, has spoken publicly about her alopecia diagnosis. Smith strode on stage and slapped Rock across the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice shouted for Rock to “get my wife’s name out your (expletive) mouth.” His words echoed clearly throughout the Dolby, though broadcaster ABC cut the audio for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won best actor, receiving a standing ovation. During his five-minute acceptance speech, Smith spoke about defending his family. He also apologized to the academy.
After the show Sunday night, the academy posted a statement condemning violence. The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday it was aware of the incident but not pursuing an investigation because the person involved declined to file a police report.
Some Academy members, like writer-producer Marshall Herskovitz, called for the academy to take disciplinary action against Smith. “He disgraced our entire community tonight,” wrote Herskovitz on Twitter.
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Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the Academy’s board of governors, said Monday on The View: “We’re not going to take that Oscar from him. There will be consequences, I’m sure.”
A sense of disbelief hung in the air at the Dolby Theatre after Smith’s assault. Not only was it a hard-to-fathom break with decorum on live national television — an incident so dramatic, even movie-like, that many initially assumed it was a staged bit — it seemed wildly out of character for one of Hollywood’s most relentlessly upbeat stars. And it came less than an hour before Smith reached possibly the pinnacle of his career, winning his first Oscar, for best actor.