- Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, creating an instantly infamous TV moment.
- The Best Actor winner took offense to a joke that Rock made about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
- The Academy has released a lengthy statement saying they will take “appropriate action.”
At the 2022 Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27, Will Smith made television history, but unfortunately not for his Best Actor win, as the 53-year-old actor will instead be remembered for walking on stage and slapping comedian Chris Rock, who made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett.
Despite the shocking swing at Rock, Smith returned to his seat in the front row, where he remained until heading to the stage to accept the award for Best Actor. Smith, who won the prize for his performance as Richard Williams in King Williams, said during his speech that “love will make you do crazy things.”
On Monday, Smith posted an apology to all the parties involved on Instagram, with Chris Rock being the first name he mentions.
Regardless of Smith’s attempt to make amends and Rock’s decision not to press charges, the Academy remains scorned by the incident and has released a lengthy statement condemning Smith’s action and stating they will take “appropriate action.”
The Academy states that the review of the incident will be a process that takes a few weeks.
“We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee,” the statement begins. “To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith’s actions that transpired Sunday night.”
“As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith. As governed by California law regarding members of nonprofit organizations like the Academy, and set forth in our Standards of Conduct, this must follow an official process that will take a few weeks.”
In his Instagram apology to Rock, the Academy, the attendees, the viewers, the Williams family, and the team behind King Richard, Smith said that he “was out of line and was wrong” and that he’s “embarrassed” because his “actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”
You can read the Academy’s full letter here.