Will Smith may be stripped of Oscar after slapping Chris Rock at awards ceremony
The Academy says "there is no place for any form of abuse"
Will Smith could be stripped of his Oscar after slapping presenter Chris Rock during the ceremony on Sunday.
Smith stormed the stage and struck Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s appearance as he roasted some of the nominees.
After mentioning the actor, Rock said of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith: "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane II, can't wait to see it."
Smith then took to the stage to confront Rock, before landing a right-handed slap which produced an audible smack.
"Oh, wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the **** out of me," Rock said as the audience laughed, thinking the episode was scripted.
He added: "Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke," referencing the 1997 film "G.I. Jane" in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
Smith then said: "Keep my wife's name out of your ******* mouth."
Rock responded: "I'm going to. That's the greatest night in the history of television."
Smith did later apologise for his actions during a tearful acceptance speech after winning Best Actor.
But Smith’s actions could lead to him being stripped of his award, with The Academy's “Standards of Conduct” guidelines, which were released back in 2017, stating “there is no place for any form of abuse".
The Academy said: “In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.
“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.
"The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.”
Speaking after the incident on Sunday, The Academy said: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
“Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said no report had yet been filed with them following the altercation.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards programme,” a spokesperson told the PA news agency.
“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.”