Oscars launch formal investigation into Will Smith slap

The Oscars are to launch a formal review into an incident at the ceremony yesterday (March 27) where Will Smith appeared to slap Chris Rock on stage.

During the ceremony, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith, being bald. Pinkett Smith has been open about the fact that she suffers from alopecia, a condition which causes hair loss.

Taking offence to Rock’s comments that he couldn’t wait to see Pinkett Smith “in G.I. Jane 2”, Smith got up on stage and attacked the comedian. When he returned to his seat, he shouted: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

In a statement responding to the incident, The Academy 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.”

The Academy enacted a code of conduct for its members introduced in 2017 that states: “There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognised standards of decency.

“If any member is found by the Board of Governors to have violated these standards or to have compromised the integrity of the Academy by their actions, the Board of Governors may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s bylaws, including suspension or expulsion.”

As per the LA Times, the academy called an emergency meeting on Monday morning to address the incident.

Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars 2022 CREDIT: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The LAPD gave a statement to Variety about the incident, confirming Rock had not pressed charges at present. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read.

“The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

Later in the night, Smith collected the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his part in King Richard. While accepting the trophy, he apologised “to the Academy” and “all my fellow nominees” for his earlier actions.

“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams,” he added.

You can catch up with all of the winners from the Oscars 2022 here.

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