On Monday, March 28, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences amended its statement regarding a physical altercation between Oscar winner Will Smith and nominee presenter and comedian Chris Rock.
In the comedy-filled lead-up to announcing nominees for Best Documentary, Chris Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness. He said that he could not wait to see her in G.I. Jane 2. This is not a real movie and just compares Jada–who is near bald due to her alopecia–to . Jada did not laugh. Will stormed on stage, smacked Chris across the face, and began shouting threatening f-bombs at the comedian. Chris was able to maintain his composure and carry on with the show.from the 90s action drama
Read More: Video: Will Smith Assaults Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars
Little was mentioned about the unscripted Will Smith slap until after the awards show. While actors like , , and were seen talking with the Fresh Prince about it, the rest of the attendants–including hosts , , and –remained silent on the matter–at least outside of social media. The Academy tweeted a statement that has been viewed by some as lackluster. Now, they have announced that they will move ahead with a full official review of the matter.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” a spokesperson for the organization said. “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.”
It is unclear what consequences the former Disney movie star–famous for his portrayal as the Genie in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic Aladdin will receive. While it appears unlikely to happen, such consequences can include forfeiting his award.
According to Variety,
“It appears that Smith may face some type of disciplinary action or sanction, though it’s unlikely he will be made to forfeit his prize. In its official= standards of conduct, the Academy states it is ‘categorically opposed to any form of abuse.'”
Will took home the Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, in the biopic film King Richard. He had a chance to address and apologize for what he did to his colleague. However, the actor appeared more to double down on the assault, saying that he was inspired by how Richard Williams ferociously defended his family.
Best Actor in a Leading Role goes to Will Smith for his incredible performance in 'King Richard' Congratulations! #Oscars pic.twitter.com/y0UTX48214
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
Read More: ‘Love Will Make You Do Crazy Things’: Will Smith Defends Himself for Hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars
Outside of the authorities present in the Dolby Theatre Sunday night, the Police Department also released a statement on the matter and explained that Chris Rock declined to fill out a formal police report of the incident.
Only time will tell how far the Academy’s reprimands–if any–will lower Will Smith from what he referred to as the of his career.