As we near the end of the week, expectedly, the onslaught of news coverage surrounding the Oscars slap is showing no signs of slowing down.
For the latest, we turn to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), i.e. the government agency with a stated purpose of “regulating” various forms of communication. Per reports from TMZand Insider—both including scrollable documents of the complaints in question—66 complaints were lodged with the agency over a period of three days in response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.
The complaints largely appear to take on a predictable tone, with some mentioning both the slap itself and the subsequent use of the word “fucking” that was censored from the broadcast. Describing the latter, a complaint originating from California referred to the moment as having contained “fowl [sic] language that was mouthed from his mouth.”
On Wednesday, the Academy shared a statement with multiple outlets, including the Associated Press, claiming that Smith had been asked to leave the ceremony post-slap but had “refused” to do so.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently,” the statement read in part, which also mentioned “the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
One day later, reports citing multiple sources close to the situation disputed the claim that Smith was formally asked to leave.