The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched a formal review following Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony. The organization behind the annual film awards show initially said it condemned violence without mentioning Smith by name, but now it is making its displeasure over the incident more explicit.
“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 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.”
Smith, who was named best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard,” had his big night marred by his outburst. After Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s close cropped haircut, referencing “GI Jane,” Smith charged the stage and slapped Rock. He then screamed at Rock to “leave my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” Pinkett Smith has said her hair loss results from alopecia.
Smith was named best actor later in the evening. He used his time at the podium to apologize to the Academy and to his fellow nominees — though he did not mention Rock.
“Love will make you do crazy things,” he said, adding, “To do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”