Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards over a joke the latter made about Jada Pinkett Smith remains the talk of the town. Smith apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for what happened during his speech when accepting the Academy Award for Best Actor for his King Richard performance, and he formally apologized to Rock the day after on social media. Nevertheless, the Academy decided to launch a formal review into the incident, and we’ve now learned that not only was Smith asked to leave after it unfolded, the organization’s members have now initiated disciplinary proceedings against the actor.
Starting off, at the end of an official statement shared to THR and other outlets, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that the scuffle between Will Smith and Chris Rock “unfolded in a way” they could not have “anticipated.” The Academy then clarified that Smith was asked to leave the Oscars ceremony soon after, but he refused. In hindsight, the group’s members recognize that they “could have handled the situation differently.”
As far as current affairs go, the Academy’s Board of Governors stated that Will Smith committed of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including “inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.” Smith has been provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote over his “violations and sanctions,” and during that time he can give his side of the story through a written response. Then at the Board’s next meeting on April 18, the Academy might take disciplinary action against the Men in Black actor, which could include include “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
So the Academy is taking things to the next level with its actions towards Will Smith. To provide some context in case you’ve made it this far and don’t know the whole story, Rock, who was presenting the Best Documentary Feature category, joked about Jada Pinkett Smith being in G.I. Jane 2, referring to her bald look, which is a result of alopecia. Moments later, Smith walked on stage and struck him in the face. Upon returning to his seat, Smith shouted “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth” twice, and Rock continued with the presentation.
More to come…