The Academy Wanted Will Smith to Leave the Oscars Event after He Hit Chris Rock

Abhi Thakur

The Academy 'seriously discussed' asking Will Smith to leave after he hit comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars 2022. According to an EW insider, it was "a very huge decision" which would have "consequences within the show." They also claimed that making a decision in a short period of time was a "nightmare and borderline impossible" task.
The Oscars 2022(WhattoWatch)

Chris, who was presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature on Monday, made a joke about Will's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Chris said, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Chris may or may not have been aware that Jada suffers from alopecia, a disorder that causes hair loss. Will approached Chris and hit him in the face a few moments later.

According to a person acquainted with the matter, "Having (Will) leave was seriously discussed. You're also trying to make sure Chris Rock is okay. So basically, to make a very huge decision like that, which either way would've had consequences within the show, in a 10-minute span and get everybody together and have that discussion logistically was a nightmare and borderline impossible."

The source added, "I think everybody sort of had ideas or opinions on what happened… Everyone had to take a couple of minutes to actually figure out what just happened, then, what's the best and quickest course of action? Then once you get to that step, that's when, as you know, 'What should we do?' turns into seven different things, and you add the seven different things with four or five different stakeholders, it's a lot to navigate in a 10-minute window."

Will broke down and apologized after winning the best actor award for his portrayal as the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. He did not, however, address Chris in his apologies.

"The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show," the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences stated later in a statement. "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.”

Will later apologized to Chris on Instagram, "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

A part of his statement also read, "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

Source: Hindustan Times

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