The Oscars has launched a review after Will Smith stormed the stage and smacked Chris Rock across the face.
In a statement the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences condemned the King Richard star for slapping the 57-year-old comic after he made a joke at his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s expense at the ceremony beamed around the world.
In a statement, they said that they would “explore further action and consequences” across California law and the organisation’s standards of conduct.
Speculation is now growing that Smith could be ordered to hand back his Academy Award.
Rock was roasting some of the nominees and, after mentioning Smith, said of his wife, “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane II,’ can’t wait to see it.”
It was a reference to the 1997 film G.I. Jane in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head. Jada Pinkett-Smith has the autoimmune disease alopecia, which can cause hair loss.
Smith then walked on stage toward Rock, who had his hands behind his back when Smith threw an open hand at his face that produced an audible smack.
“Oh, wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” Rock said as the audience laughed, thinking it was a skit. “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith then made what may become one of the most repeated phrases of Oscar history when he said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***king mouth.”
Rock responded, “I’m going to. That’s the greatest night in the history of television.”
Smith then repeated his phrase, louder and more deliberately.
SEE THE SLAP THAT ROCKED THE OSCARS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
Less than an hour later the 53-year-old actor won the Best Actor gong and disappointing members of the awarding body, who complained “he stole the limelight” in his bizarre attempt to defend his 50-year-old wife, who was the butt of Rock’s joke after she shaved her hair off due to having
A member of the Academy told the BBC: “I woke up so bummed about what Will Smith did. To me, he stole the limelight. I don’t think that was the place to be so violent. Most people were shocked. There were children there. It was a place to celebrate.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star addressed the incident in his acceptance speech, apologising to the Academy and his “fellow nominees”.
“That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me,” before adding later in his speech: “But love will make you do crazy things.”
In a statement sent to media, and without naming names, Los Angeles police said investigators were aware of the incident, but that, “The individual involved has declined to file a police report.”
Should Rock change his mind, however, LA police would investigate.
– with BANG Showbiz