The Academy launches formal enquiry into Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

The Academy condemned the actions of Smith who went on to win Best Actor for his role in King Richard

Published

A formal review has been launched into the altercation between Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony, The Academy has announced.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it “condemned” the actions of Smith, who later went on to win the Oscar for best actor following the incident at the 94th annual movie awards.

Smith stormed onstage and hit the comedian in front of a star-studded audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, after Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.

In a statement to media on Monday, the film academy said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show.

Will Smith hits at Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Will Smith hits at Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“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.”

Will Smith cries as he accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Will Smith cries as he accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Oscars show-runner Will Packer says the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards was “a very painful moment for me”.

Smith stormed onstage and hit the comedian in front of a star-studded audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, after Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.

Red Table Talk host Pinkett Smith has previously spoken about her struggles with alopecia and said it is what prompted her to shave her head.

The incident generated enormous backlash on social media and across Hollywood, with the Academy saying it “does not condone violence in any form”, and involvement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Packer initially responded to the incident by saying: “Welp… I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars,” a comment that drew some criticism.

He later tweeted: “Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you.

“But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”