Academy launches investigation into Will Smith following awards show assault

Fox News reports that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to launch an investigation into the incident that occurred between actors Will Smith and Chris Rock during Sunday night’s awards ceremony. 

The academy announced the investigation in a statement released on Monday.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the statement reads. “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.”

This follows the statement that the academy put out immediately following the Oscars, in which it wrote, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

Background

An altercation occurred between Smith and Rock on Sunday after Rock, who hosted the show, made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said.

Rock was clearly comparing Jada Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore when she shaved her head for the filming of G.I. Jane. For those unfamiliar with Jada Pinkett Smith, she too has decided to shave her head following her alopecia diagnosis, which she has been public about.

To say the least, the joke did not sit well with Will Smith. He went up on stage and proceeded to smack Rock across the face. Then, when he returned to his seat, Smith shouted to Rock, “get my wife’s name out your ******* mouth.”

Rock, although clearly shaken, remained professional and continued the show. Smith ended up winning the “Best Actor” award, and, during his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy, but not to Rock.

The aftermath

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released a statement saying that Rock would not press charges against Smith. It appears that Smith is going to avoid the legal consequences of the assault, although the LAPD made it clear that Rock can still decide to press charges at a later date.

The question now is whether the Academy will take action against Smith. Several members have already called for some kind of punitive action, including Marshall Herskovitz.

Herskovitz, following the incident, published a Tweet, writing, “I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith. He disgraced our entire community tonight.”

After the Oscars, Smith was captured on camera dancing at an afterparty to his own songs. Apparently, he’s not too worried about any of this.

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