Academy Says Inquiry Into Will Smith Oscars Slap ‘Will Take a Few Weeks’
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is undertaking a formal inquiry into the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident from Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, but a decision on appropriate action could take weeks.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy’s president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson sent a letter to board members on Tuesday, noting that they were “upset and outraged” over what occurred. The letter stated that the night was “meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work in the past year” but was “overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee.”
Following a joke Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith, the King Richard actor took to the stage and slapped the comedian. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” Smith yelled as he returned to his seat. He would later apologize to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech for the Best Actor award — he has since apologized to Rock in a social media post.
“As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith,” the Academy letter continued. “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.”
Meanwhile, Amy Schumer, who co-hosted the ceremony alongside Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, took to Instagram to share her thoughts on what happened. “Still triggered and traumatized,” she wrote before adding that she believed Rock “handled it like a pro.”
“I’m still in shock and stunned and sad,” she continued. “I’m proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah. Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed.”
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Rock himself has yet to speak on the incident, but he has seen a sharp increase in ticket sales for his current stand-up comedy tour. The ticket exchange and resale company StubHub said it experienced more than 25x the daily sales on Monday & Tuesday than occurred last month for Rock’s shows.
“Now that we are 48 hours from Sunday evening, it’s evident that demand for Chris Rock shows has jumped dramatically, based on our ticket buying trends on StubHub,” Mike Silveira, spokesperson for StubHub told THR.