As Denzel Washington warned, the devil did come for Will Smith when he was at his zenith. The 94th Academy Awards witnessed some of the greatest moments in Hollywood’s history from Troy Kotsur becoming the first deaf actor to win an Oscar to Jane Campion becoming the third female director to win Best Director, only to be eclipsed by the controversial altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock. Chris Rock, who was the host for this year’s Oscars had made a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia, triggering Smith to assault the comedian on the live stage.
If the assault wasn’t shocking enough, Will Smith later went on to win the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard, where he played the role of Richard Williams. During his award acceptance speech, the actor apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his inexcusable behavior. However, there wasn’t a single apology to Chris Rock, which irked many fans and celebrities across the globe. Though the actor has since then apologized to the comedian on his Instagram, it might be too late to make amends. Now, the Academy might suspend or take some alternative punitive actions against the actor in the wake of these events.
The Academy Reacts To Will Smith’s Assault On Chris Rock
After the controversial incident, the Academy had condemned Smith’s actions. However, recent reports have come out revealing that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had actually tried to escort Smith out of the ceremony moments after his altercation with Rock. But unfortunately, Smith apparently refused to leave the ceremony. Unsurprisingly, the Board of Governors has convened a meeting to take disciplinary actions against Will Smith in light of recent events.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
The meeting is scheduled to convene on April 18 where the Board of Governors will take appropriate actions against Smith for his unwarranted assault on the 57-year-old comedian. As per The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy has issued an apology to Chris Rock as well, including all the other nominees, guests, and viewers. As per the member of the Board of Governors, the Academy is ensuring that Smith faces the consequences of his actions.
“People want real consequence. Every member of every branch is reaching out to all their governors. It was an assault — and not only a physical assault, but an assault on the community.”
Celebrities and Fans React To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock On Live-Stage
After the incident, millions of fans showed their support for the comedian. Joining them were celebrities and comedians who sided with Chris Rock and wanted Smith to be held accountable for his actions. From Mark Hamill to Jim Carrey, popular celebrities condemned Smith for his outburst on arguably the greatest stage to celebrate films.
Though Chris Rock has chosen not to press any formal charges against Smith, the comedian has revealed that he is still processing the event. Interestingly, Rock’s upcoming tour witnessed skyrocketing popularity in the light of recent events. To irk the fans even more, Smith was found partying after the Oscars which many believed to be extremely inappropriate. To condemn Smith’s assault on a live stage, the Academy has released this full statement:
“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.
Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.
Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
While it’s yet to be seen whether the Academy will actually suspend or expel Smith from any future events, many fans and celebrities believe that the actor should face some form of punitive action for assaulting Rock in front of millions of viewers.