Academy condemns Will Smith’s actions at Oscars, Smith releases statement

Will Smith,Chris Rock
Posted at 3:29 PM, Mar 28, 2022

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Oscars, announced on Monday it was launching a formal review into what transpired between Will Smith and Chris Rock during Sunday's telecast.

“The academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the academy said in a statement. “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.”

The statement came after an emergency meeting on Monday, the New York Times reported.

Actor Will Smith released a statement on Monday writing, "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

In 2017, the academy updated its code of conduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The code of conduct states that the organization's board can suspend or expel those who violate the code of conduct or who "compromise the integrity" of the academy.

The shocking moment happened when Rock was presenting the award for best documentary, and he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. During his dialogue, Rock said he was looking forward to a sequel to "G.I. Jane" because of her shaved head, the Associated Press reported.

Last year, Pinkett Smith announced she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.

After the joke, Smith got up out of his seat, walked up to Rock, and slapped him.

Once he sat back down, Will Smith shouted to Rock twice, “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”

Viewers and the award show audience were left shocked by the moment.

Shortly after that, Smith won his first-ever Oscar for best actor in the film "King Richard."

Smith apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech, but not to Rock.

Rock declined to file a police report, the Los Angeles Police Department said Monday but added that they would investigate if the comedian decides to press charges at a later time.