The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement on Twitter about “violence” in the early hours of March 28, 2022. The tweet was seemingly about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Oscars, though neither actor is named.
“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” The Academy’s official Twitter account wrote. “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.”
In the most talked-about moment of the night, Rock joked that Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith would appear in a sequel to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” The comment seemingly referenced the actress’ baldness, since the film’s main character famously shaves her head.
Pinkett Smith previously revealed she experienced hair loss as a result of alopecia.
Despite the moment being bleeped in the United States, foreign broadcasts saw the moment unedited. A clip of the moment was shared on Instagram by Amanda Hirsch, the host of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast.
“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me,” Rock stated as Smith walked away. He went on to add, “Wow dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith repeatedly responded, “Keep my wife’s name out your f****** mouth.”
“I’m going to, okay,” he added. “Okay, that was the greatest night in the history of television. So we are here to give a documentary out.”
The Academy’s Statement Comes After the LAPD Revealed Rock Declined to File a Police Report
The Academy’s statement comes after the Los Angeles Police Department revealed Rock will not pursue charges against Smith.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” according to the LAPD’s spokesperson in a statement obtained by numerous news outlets. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will available to complete an investigative report.”
The Academy’s Statement Was Met With Mixed Reactions
The tweet was met with mixed reactions.
One tweet called out Rock’s joke. It read, “To offend someone by joking about their physical condition in front of millions of people is also a form of violence, you know.”
Others cried foul since Smith remained through the end of the ceremony and went on to be awarded “Best Actor” for his role in “King Richard.”
“You condoned it,” read one tweet. “You allowed Will Smith to sit there and then gave a major award which he accepted with a bizarre speech attempting to excuse his assault.”
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter offered up what he felt was a more appropriate statement. He tweeted, “’What happened at the ceremony tonight was unacceptable. It never should have happened and, in the moment, we were unable to respond decisively and we regret the way an already unfortunate situation was handled. We apologize to tonight’s winners and the industry at large.’”