Academy Signals Will Smith Could Lose Oscar Over Slapping Incident

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Madeline Dovi Contributor
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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has launched a formal investigation into Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars after the best actor winner slapped Chris Rock in the face during Sunday’s ceremony.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the statement read, according to CNN. “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.”

During the ceremony, Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock in the face following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Smith then returned to his seat before telling Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f**ing mouth.”(RELATED: Will Smith Hits Chris Rock During The Oscars).

Later that evening, Smith won the best actor award for his performance in “King Richard,” as Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Smith issued an apology to the Academy and fellow nominees during his acceptance speech but did not mention Rock, according to WSJ.

Academy leaders “strongly considered” removing Smith from the Oscars telecast after the incident, an unidentified source told CNN, but they stated that Academy decision makers were seated in “various spots” in the theater and were unable to respond before he was presented the award for best actor.
The Academy tweeted a response to the incident following the ceremony, stating that they “do not condone violence of any form.”

Roughly a dozen members of the Academy met virtually Monday morning to discuss the situation, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNN. While the group does not have any official disciplinary power, their response could reportedly influence the Academy’s Board of Governors, who can suspend or expel Academy members for violating their code of conduct.
Rock declined to press charges against Smith, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
 The Daily Caller reached out to Smith’s representatives for comment.