The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a “formal review”of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the Academy Awards on Sunday.
“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,” the statement read.
Also, the Academy’s board of governors will be meeting for what The Hollywood Reporter is calling an “emergency phone call” about the incident. THR reports that the call will involve president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, among other officers, and that Smith will likely face a sanction for his actions, with his Academy membership likely suspended.
Organizers of the event had reportedly discussed having Smith removed from the event after he struck Rock, who made a joke about his wife Jada, an industry source told People. The Oscar winner’s removal was “definitely discussed seriously,” the source said, but Smith stayed for the duration of the ceremony and even accepted the Best Actor award after the incident—acknowledging what happened during his speech.
“I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams,” Smith said in his speech. “But love will make you do crazy things.”
Whoopi Goldberg, The View co-host and Academy Governor in the Actor’s branch, shared on Monday that the Academy is “not going to take that Oscar from him,” in reference to last night’s victory for his performance in King Richard, despite rumors of that being a possibility.
“There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said ‘Listen, I’m not pressing any charges,’” she said, per Deadline.
Goldberg added that while Smith “overreacted,” he and Jada have been the butt of jokes for a while now, and he could’ve reached his limit.
“I think he had one of those moments where it was like G.D. it, just stop,” she said. “I get it, not everybody acts the way we would like them to act under pressure. And he snapped.”