Will Smith Oscars slap: Academy condemns actions, launches review; Chris Rock won’t press charges

LOS ANGELES – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it condemns Will Smith’s actions during Sunday Oscars and will begin a formal review of his slap on presenter Chris Rock.

In a statement Monday, the film academy said it would “investigate further actions and consequences in accordance with Statute, Ethics and California law.”

Smith stunned the Dolby Theater crowd and spectators at home when he took to the stage during Rock’s statements after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife. Rock turned to Smith’s wife, Janda Pinkett Smith, and said, “Jada, I love you. I’m looking forward to ‘GI Jane 2.’

I’M WATCHING: Will Smith’s shocking confrontation at the Oscars with Chris Rock

The joke touched a nerve. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, spoke publicly about the diagnosis of alopecia. Rock had also joked with her in the past. Rock hosted the 2016 Oscars, when some people boycotted the ceremony because of the #OscarsSoWhite nominee group, including the Smiths. Rock said: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like boycotting Rihanna’s underwear. I was not invited.”

Blacksmith went up on stage and hit Rock in the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice shouted at Rock to “take my wife’s name out of your mouth.” His words echoed loudly throughout Dolby, though ABC cut off the sound for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won Best Actor. During his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the academy.

The protagonist of “The Pursuit of Happyness” appeared remorseful when he returned to the stage shortly after, to receive the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams, father of Aphrodite and Serena Williams, in the movie “King Richard”.

During his moving speechSmith apologized to the Academy and his candidates for the incident, but did not mention Rock by name.

Smith posted a statement on Instagram Monday afternoon about the incident, for the first time publicly apologizing to Rock.

“I would like to apologize publicly, Chris,” Smith wrote. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am ashamed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no room for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Earlier Monday, the LAPD announced that Chris Rock would not be charged and had not reported to police.

“LAPD research entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Oscar program,” the department told CNN. “The incident involved one person slapping another. The person involved refused to report it to the police. If the party involved wants a police report later, the LAPD will be available to complete an investigation report.”

Following Sunday night’s broadcast, the academy issued a statement condemning the violence. Some members of the academy, such as writer-producer Marshall Herskovic, called on the academy to take disciplinary action against Smith.

“Honor our entire community tonight,” Herskovic wrote on Twitter.

MORE: Oscar drama sheds light on Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss

This unique action on one of the biggest nights of Smith’s career shed light on the actor for all the wrong reasons

“If the Academy was my client, one of the things I would say to them right now is that they should be held accountable to Mr. Smith for his actions,” said Mike Paul, a public relations expert known as Crisis. The Reputation Doctor.

He says what has unfolded is far beyond Smith and Rock, with dozens of stakeholders linked to the awards show – the largest of which is the Academy itself.

“They do not want this precedent to be created and they want to make sure that he does not return to the Academy as part of the problem,” he said.

He believes that doing nothing is an option, and as Smith is a multi-million dollar brand, his works may now be a hit.

“If there is an ethics clause that exists, they could take action against him,” Paul said. “They could say your value was 10, now it’s 6 or 5 after the slap.”

SEE: Will Smith’s full acceptance speech

“We are not going to take this Oscar from him. There will be consequences, I’m sure,” Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the Academy’s board, told The View on Monday.

While Smith’s actions have been widely condemned on social media, with many arguing that he should be charged with assault, his 23-year-old son, Jaden Smith, shared a tweet shortly after the incident, saying: “And so we do. “

CNN contacted Rock representatives for further comment.

Smith seemed to predict the chaos of Oscar night in an Instagram post hours earlier. Sharing a video of himself and his wife dressed in the red carpet with his 60 million followers, he wrote: “I @jadapinkettsmith dressed to choose chaos.”

(The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report)

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