In a statement released on Monday, the organization “condemned the actions of Mr. Smith,” and will “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
During Sunday’s telecast, Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock after the comic cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The US broadcast quickly cut the sound, but the international feed captured the full interaction. Rock said, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.” Smith returned to his seat, where he shouted out, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
It appears Smith will face some sort of disciplinary action in response to the incident, such as a suspension of his Academy membership. However, Variety reports that it’s unlikely Smith will be forced to forfeit his Oscar for Best Actor, which he received at the end of last night’s ceremony.
During his acceptance speech, Smith acknowledged the incident and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees (but not Rock). “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams,” Smith said, referencing his character in King Richard. “But love will make you do crazy things.”
Despite that moment of contrition, Smith was later seen rapping and dancing along to his song “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” at an Oscars afterparty.
For his part, Rock chose not to press charges against Smith, but has not yet publicly addressed the incident.
Ed Note. Check out our timeline of Will Smith and Chris Rock’s fair-weather friendship.
— Consequence (@consequence) March 28, 2022