Academy condemns Will Smith’s attack and opens formal review

By Alexandra Heilbron on March 28, 2022 | 11 Comments

Will Smith attacks Chris Rock at the OscarsThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement early this morning following the completion of the Oscars ceremony, stating, “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.”

The incident they are referring to was when Will Smith approached comedian Chris Rock on the stage after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife’s lack of hair, saying “Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Smith slapped Rock across the face so hard that the comedian reeled back. As he gained composure, Rock clenched a fist but remained composed as Smith, yelling “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth” returned to his seat. Rock responded, “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.” Smith, looking furious and indignant, repeated himself even more loudly.  The exchange was muted by censors for North American viewers, but not for international ones.

It’s speculated that Smith will lose his Academy membership, but not his Oscar for Best Actor, as many Academy members have called for.

The officers of the Academy’s board of governors, including president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, had an emergency phone call early this morning to prepare the statement and discuss the incident. Producer Will Packer was lambasted on Twitter for being flippant after posting, “Welp … I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars.” Jonathan Jewel replied, “Making jokes about an assault that happened during your show isn’t the congratulatory message you think it is.” Packer’s reply to Jewel’s message included, “this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”

The LAPD also chimed in, saying that Rock hadn’t filed a police report but that he could do so at a later date if desired. The full statement read, “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.” ~Alexandra Heilbron

Comments & Discussion

  1. Felix • March 28, 2022 @ 5:18 PM

    The only thing that will make an impact is to take his Oscar away. He didn’t even bother to apologize to Chris Rock during his acceptance speech, just stood there crying because he was afraid he would never get another invite to the Oscars and because he had to “protect” his family. Bull. He could have stayed in his seat and yelled, “Not funny! We’re not laughing. Don’t appreciate this….. ” This was done on TV where children were watching, where racists were watching and saying Yeah, that’s how “they” are. The Oscars are supposed to be a classy affair and instead, it turned into a night at the fights. It’s unforgivable and he should pay the biggest price. Kicked out of the Academy, never considered for nomination again AND lose his Oscar.

  2. Gus • March 28, 2022 @ 5:23 PM

    Lost all respect for Will SIMP.

  3. Derek Jay • March 28, 2022 @ 5:51 PM

    I agree with Felix. Actions need to have consquences.

  4. KIM • March 28, 2022 @ 6:16 PM

    This was handled in very poor taste. Will Smith should have waited until it was take back stage. Not all done in the public eye. Yes the joke was done in poor taste. But to my understanding, Chris was reading what as on the teleprompter. I agree his Oscar should be taken away. I see they are removing his Academy Membership as well. Just my Opinion on the matter.

  5. Kathleen Rose • March 28, 2022 @ 7:11 PM

    I think that presenters and hosts should just present and speak on the accomplishments of the art that is being showcased and not embellish with vulgarity, tasteless, ramblings that they can do on their own time on their own show or stage. This has brought to light how numb we have become to this mockery at award shows when it should be about the people and art form they have completed. When I see presenters and hosts get more time then the winners, it is not right. When it was virtual I enjoyed it yet, it did not go overtime. Now live again gives these hosts and presenters too much time for their horrible shock seaking monologs and it went overtime. This is not new, many actors and actresses walked out in protest against the vulgarity and tasteless Osborne.

  6. ALLEN McDANIEL • March 28, 2022 @ 7:46 PM

    Felix said it ALL. And Chris R. deserves a ‘Special Oscar’ for keeping it Together, keeping the SHOW going w/apparent Good Humor, which must’ve been CRAZEE HARD at that Moment! I love Will, but: NO APOLOGY = NO CLASS. Conversely Chris showed a boatload of Class And SKILL- and barely flinched- which is why Everyone thought it was a gag, at First. Can’t Imagine where W.S’s HEAD was at last night, getting all philosophical- No Problem w/his LOVE speech, but hey, you embarrassed the man, even if it WAS a Bad Joke. Say you’re REALLY Sorry- AND give Chris a FREE SHOT!! He deserves BOTH. Amazing Class and Aplomb, a true PRO- Chris Rock, Best MC Performance.

  7. Marj Rice • March 28, 2022 @ 8:51 PM

    SO, where was security during all this? Will should have been escorted OUT of the building! To let him stay and get his Oscar and ovations from the audience is nuts. He should have been kicked out and his Oscar could have been mailed to him….no fanfare NOTHING!

  8. Robin • March 28, 2022 @ 10:51 PM

    I was shocked at the standing ovation
    They were all witness to an assault plain and simple then applauded the man !!!

  9. Robin • March 29, 2022 @ 12:07 AM

    I for one honestly think that Will Smith did the right thing towards Chris Rock because Chris over-stepped his bounce by making a distastefull joke towards Will Smith’s wife, even though he should of known that she was going through a tough time with something that is not funny at all and Will chose to stand up as a guy and he defended his wife’s honour when NO other celebrities chose to do so and I think that says a lot for Will’s Character. It shows that he still loves his wife very much and he is willing to stand against wrongs that are shot towards his family and all I can say towards the Oscar company- you all should be Ashamed of yourselves for condemning Will for his actions. What he did was right and all you idiots did was sit back like True Cowards

  10. Steve • March 29, 2022 @ 10:53 AM

    Hey Robin,
    You can call that “defending her honor” if you want but I will tell you what this is called, it is called assault plain and simple. He could have easily defended his wife’s honor by blasting Chris Rock during his acceptance speech. Or, in the event of him not receiving the award, social media is an amazing platform to get your point across. No one was there to help Chris when he got hit, showing who the true cowards are. No one should ever have to worry about getting assaulted at the workplace and that includes comedians, wither you find their jokes funny or not.

  11. Yo • March 31, 2022 @ 10:01 AM

    People are acting like Will, who laughed at the joke, is the victim here. I hope he gets expelled from the Academy and is never invited or nominated ever again. Don’t forget, when he lost the Oscar for Ali, he and Jada left before the show was over and said they were boycotting the Oscars when he wasn’t nominated in 2017 for lack of diversity. Jim Carrey was right. The fact that he was given a standing ovation was spineless. The audience should have sat silent and ignored him.

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