On Monday, both the Academy and the 2022 Oscars producer Will Packer responded to the slapping incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock during Sunday’s award show.
If you haven’t heard by now (I don’t see how you couldn’t have) Smith slapped the comedian after he made a distasteful joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and her bald head, likening her to G.I. Jane—a role popularized by Demi Moore in 1997. (For context, the Girls Trip star suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.)
After the moment undoubtedly went viral, the Academy put out an initial statement late Sunday night saying that they don’t “condone violence.” Now, per an official statement sent to The Root, they’re launching a formal review into the matter:
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. 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.”
According to their bylaws, which were also sent to The Root, an incident of this nature could likely lead to a “suspension of membership or expulsion from membership. Sanctions issued under this policy that are less severe than suspension or expulsion of membership may include private reprimand, public reprimand, temporary or permanent loss of privileges to attend and participate in Academy events or activities, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to receive or hold or revocation of Academy awards or honors, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to hold Academy service and volunteer roles, or other sanctions that the Academy in its sole discretion may deem appropriate.” (Hmm, no talk of taking the Oscar away, I see. Which would be the wrong call, in my opinion, but I’m not on the board.)
Additionally, the shows producer Will Packer has also responded to the incident online. After a user noted that his initial tweet on Sunday, which read. “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars,” wasn’t the best move, Packer responded:
“Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”