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Academy Shares Letter on Review Into Will Smith Oscars Slap

Will Smith with Oscar (Myung Chun-Los Angeles Times-Getty Images)
Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “King Richard” during the show at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday (03-27-22). / Myung Chun-Los Angeles Times-Getty Images

*The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent out a letter to members about their review into the Will Smith slapping incident.

As reported earlier, during the show, Chris Rock made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss. The actress suffers from alopecia, so Will was not amused that Rock mocked her for this. The veteran actor walked on stage and slapped the comedian before returning to his seat in the audience and yelling “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”

“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” said Rock — to which Will replied once again, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”

“I’m going to, okay?” Rock replied, before adding, “That was the … greatest night in the history of television”.

According to TMZ, Rock had no idea Jada suffers from alopecia.

READ MORE: Jim Carrey Would’ve Sued Will Smith: ‘That Video’s Going to be There Forever!’ | WATCH

Jada Pinkett Smith (Oscar Red Carpet) - Chelsea Lauren-Shutterstock (for CNN)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Oscar Red Carpet) – Chelsea Lauren-Shutterstock (for CNN)

A day after the smackdown, Smith apologized to Rock in a message shared on social media. In a post on Instagram on Monday afternoon, Smith called his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

“Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Smith added, “Violence in all forms is poisonous and destructive.”

He also apologized to “the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.”

“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he wrote. “I am a work in progress,” he concluded. 

The Academy’s letter, which was signed by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and President David Rubin, began, “Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year. We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee,” the letter states. 

It continued, “To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith’s actions that transpired Sunday night.” The Academy added that the review process into what went down on Sunday “will take a few weeks.”

You can read the letter in full below.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock - GettyImages
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock – GettyImages

Dear Members,

Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year. We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee.

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.

We will continue to update you on any developments, but we also ask that you respect your Board, Academy staff and the process as this unfolds so it can work in the considered way it was intended and mandated.

Please trust that the Board of Governors will conduct this process in a manner that is both expedient and respectful of all involved while maintaining the standards of the Academy.

Thank you,

David Rubin, President

Dawn Hudson, CEO

Rock declined to press charges against Smith. The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement following the slapping incident, writing, “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.”

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