Academy 'Condemns' Will Smith's Oscar Slap, Launches Formal Investigation

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “condemn[ed]” Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday and announced they’ve launched a formal investigation into the incident, Variety reports. 

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” an Academy spokesperson said. “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.” (A representative for the Academy did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)

While the Academy could take disciplinary action against Smith, the severity or kind of punishment remains unclear. It’s unlikely Smith will have to hand back the Oscar he won for Best Actor in King Richard.

Smith jumped on stage and smacked Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, a symptom of alopecia, while presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary. Right after, uncensored audio from international broadcasts of the show captured Smith yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” 

Not long after, Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor, delivering a speech in which he apologized to everyone except Rock. He also ended his speech by saying, “I hope the Academy invites me back.”

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