January 30, 2023

The Oscar slap divides Hollywood and raises questions

LOS ANGELES – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the awards, said on Monday that questions have been raised as to why comedian Will Smith did not face any consequences for slapping comedian Chris Rock on Sunday night’s Oscar presentation. And began a systematic review.

“The academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s event,” the organization said in a statement. “We have officially begun a systematic review around this incident and will investigate further action and consequences under our laws, standards of conduct and California law.”

The report was released after a meeting on Monday.

Incident On Sunday night Mr. Smith’s wife, Zada ​​Bingett Smith, about the hair of Zada ​​Bingett Smith, who suffered from alopecia leading to hair loss. Rock emerged after joking. Mr. Smith, walking on the stage of the Dolby Theater, slapped Mr. Rock and the stunned audience, Mr. Until Smith returned to his seat and warned him to stop talking about his wife, they at first wondered if this beat had been scripted. Use of explosives.

Behind the scenes at the Oscars, there were heated discussions about removing Smith from the theater, and according to two industry officials, two department officials who knew the situation were unnamed to describe the internal discussions. But time was short because the award for Best Actor went to Mr. Smith was desperate to win, and it was fast approaching, as one noted – and shareholders had differing opinions on how to proceed. There was also concern about further disruption of live broadcasts, the other said.

While the show was going on, actor Denzel Washington met Mr. during a business break. Spoke with Smith. (Mr. Smith said that Mr. Washington had told him: “At your highest moment, be careful. Only then will the devil come looking for you.”) In his speech, Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow candidates – but not to Mr. Rock – and sought to draw parallel to the role he played in Venus and Serena Williams’ father, “King Richard”.

“Richard Williams was a staunch defender of his family,” Mr. Smith said.

He got applause.

The incident hid the awards. George Stefanopoulos described the situation on ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday, saying, “Something we’ve never seen before, one of the hardest to implement: Will Smith, Chris Rock took to the stage after joking about his wife – simply attacking Chris Rock.”

Sperling report from Los Angeles. Jacobs and Stevens reported from New York. Dave Itskoff Contributed report.