WILL Smith may be asked to hand back his first ever Oscar due to breaking The Academy’s code of conduct after fans demanded the award be taken off him.
The star won Best Actor for his lead role in King Richard moments after he slapped Chris Rock, who had cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Will Smith may be forced to give back his Oscar after slapping Chris Rock and swearing in a scene that was cut from US TVCredit: Reuters
Will Smith won his first ever Oscar for his role in King RichardCredit: Alamy
Smith invaded the stage after Rock’s joke about his wife’s short haircut, which is caused by alopecia – Smith pictured here with his family after winning his awardCredit: MEGA AGENCY
Fans called for the Fresh Prince star to hand back his prize after his outburst violated The Oscars’ Code of Conduct written in the wake of the MeToo Movement, which emphasized in 2017 the importance of “upholding the Academy’s values,” and “respect for human dignity.”
Taking to Twitter, one reacted: “Just imagine if that had been ANYONE but Will Smith.
“They would have been hauled off so fast. But we are not normalizing assault in 2022. No special treatment. Remove him #oscars”
A Hollywood source also told the NY Post that Smith could be stripped of his gong.
They said: “It’s basically assault.
“Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable.
“I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now.”
Smith invaded the stage after the ex-SNL comedian’s joke about alopecia sufferer Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.
But moments before his outburst, Smith was seen chuckling at Rock’s remarks.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”, prompting the actress to roll her eyes.
However, Smith then walked up on stage and appeared to slap Rock before returning to his seat and angrily shouting twice: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
Another ranted on Twitter: “Clearly Chris Rock is the better man here. The academy should strip the Oscar from Smith and ban him from participating in the event ever again.
“This is outrageous behavior and destroys what used to be a classy affair. Shame on Will Smith.”
One more penned: “Assault on international live broadcast should be enough to strip someone from their oscar.”
Others called for Smith’s arrest, with one fan asking: “The #Oscars don’t have police officers? How do you assault someone on National Tv and walk back to your seat?”
Another tweeted: “If it’s not staged then it’s assault. No excuses. Just because Will Smith is rich and famous he can be above the law? Imagine the outrage if a random guy hits Chris Rock during performance”
However, some defended Smith and pointed to previous Oscar winners who had spent time in jail.
One person said: “Suuuure, let’s make an example out of the black man. Roman Polanski and Harvey Weinstein, among so many others, have been found guilty of sexual assault, why do they still have their Academy Awards, then?”
The Los Angeles Police Department said it was “aware” of the incident that “involved one individual slapping another,” but that “the individual involved has declined to file a police report.”
After the gala ended, the Academy tweeted that it “does not condone violence of any form,” without directly referring to the incident.
Pinkett Smith, who is also an actress, suffers from alopecia, and publicly revealed her diagnosis in 2018.
According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, who was in attendance, a tearful Smith needed to be “pulled aside and comforted” by fellow actors Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry during a commercial break.
Smith, 53, alluded to the chaotic incident in his acceptance speech for best actor, which he won for his role as the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard.”
With tears running down his cheeks, Smith said that “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” and that “art imitates life.”
“I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,” he added.
“I’m hoping the Academy invites me back,” Smith said after apologizing to event organizers and his fellow nominees.
Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith revealed her alopecia battle in 2018Credit: Rex