Will Smith: Oscars Probes Assault On Chris Rock

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on Monday, revealed it has commenced a formal review following Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.


The incident cast a pall on what should have been Hollywood’s biggest celebration and overshadowed others’ achievements, one member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences – which organises the Oscars ceremony – told the BBC.

“I woke up so bummed out about what Will Smith did,” said the member. “To me, he stole the limelight. I don’t think that was the place to be so violent. Most people were shocked. There were children there. It was a place to celebrate.” She asked not to be named.

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Monday’s statement from the organisation behind the Oscars said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show. 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.”


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With its intolerance for violence, Smith may face some type of disciplinary action or sanction and there are speculations he could be made to forfeit his prize.

Smith had slapped comedian, Chris Rock on Sunday over a joke the latter made about his wife’s baldness.

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Rock has refused to press charges against Smith according to the Los Angeles Police Department.


Marshall Herskovitz, a film producer, tweeted early on Monday morning: “I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith. He disgraced our entire community tonight.”


Roger Ross Williams, a black member of the Academy’s board of governors, told the Hollywood Reporter that the confrontation drove him to tears because “it reinforces stereotypes about black people and it just hurts me to my core”.

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Actor Wendell Pierce, whose credits include HBO’s The Wire and Treme, said he was hoping for “a public act of contrition” from Smith.


But he pointed out that Rock once produced a documentary on how black hairstyles are tied to identity.


“That film showed an appreciation for Jada’s, and Black women’s, struggle with the disease of alopecia. The joke did not. It insulted and provoked,” he wrote on Twitter.

Whoopi Goldberg however said it is unlikely Smith will lose his award.


“We’re not going to take that Oscar from him,” she predicted. “There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do.”

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Smith earned the award – his first – for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, in the film King Richard.


In a tearful acceptance speech, he apologised to his fellow nominees – but not to Rock – and said “love will make you do crazy things”.

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