Academy to launch review and explore ‘consequences’ after Will Smith slap


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday it condemns Will Smith’s actions at Sunday night’s Oscars and will launch an official review of his slap in the face of presenter Chris Rock.

In a statement on Monday, the film academy said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith on last night’s show. We have officially launched a formal review into the incident and will explore further other actions and consequences in accordance with our statutes, standards of conduct and California law.”

Smith stunned the Dolby Theater crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage during Rock’s remarks after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife. Rock said, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2Can’t wait to see this.”

The joke struck a chord. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, has spoken publicly about her diagnosis of alopecia. Rock has also joked about her before. Rock hosted the 2016 Oscars, when some boycotted the ceremony over the group of #OscarsSoWhite nominees, including the Smiths. Said Rock: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

Smith came on stage and slapped Rock in the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice yelled at Rock to “get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” His words resonated clearly throughout Dolby, although ABC muted the audio for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won Best Actor. During his acceptance speech, he apologized to the academy.

“There will be consequences, I’m sure”

Will Smith punches Chris Rock as Rock speaks onstage at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Academy announced on Monday that it would launch a formal review of the incident. (Bryan Snyder/Reuters)

After Sunday night’s show, the academy issued a statement condemning the violence. The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday it was aware of a slap incident at the Oscars, but said the person involved declined to file a police report.

Some members of the academy, such as writer-producer Marshall Herskovitz, called on the academy to take disciplinary action against Smith.

“He disgraced our entire community tonight,” Herskovitz wrote on Twitter.

Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the Academy’s board of trustees, said on Monday View“We’re not going to take that Oscar away from him. There will be consequences, I’m sure.”