Oscars 2022: Emergency meeting called as Academy look into Will Smith ‘consequences’

An investigation into Will Smith’s Chris Rock hitting incident is now open

Louis Chilton
Monday 28 March 2022 20:49 BST
Moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced it is opening an investigation into Will Smith’s conduct during last night’s (27 March) Oscars ceremony.

Smith hit presenter Chris Rock on stage during the event, after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” said Rock, in an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith stated last year that she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.

Smith, who won the Best Actor prize later in the ceremony, walked on stage and struck Rock, before shouting at him: “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.”

Later in the night, he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard, and apologised to the Academy during a tearful acceptance speech.

In a statement issued after the incident, the Academy “condemned” Smith’s actions, and said an investigation was being launched into prospective sanctions.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show,” said the organisation.

“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 Hollywood Reporter states that the Academy convened an emergency meeting as a result of the unprecedented incident.

US actor Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California

What form the “consequences” shall take remain to be seen, with some viewers suggesting that Smith’s Oscar could be revoked.

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However, such an extreme sanction is understood to be very unlikely, with the suspension of Smith’s Academy membership another possibility.

Whoopi Goldberg, who currently serves as a governor for the Actors Branch of the Academy, shut down speculation that Smith’s Best Actor win could be revoked while appearing on The View earlier today.

“We’re not going to take that Oscar from him,” said Goldberg. “There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said ‘Listen, I’m not pressing any charges.’”

Find the full list of 2022 Oscar winners here. See the latest updates and reactions from the dramatic ceremony here, and read about the biggest talking points here.

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