It’s been over 24 hours since The Academy Awards aired last night and now, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has come forward to reveal why it made a decision to not remove Will Smith from the Awards show after the actor had slapped Chris Rock on live television.
The act of violence was captured live during the Academy Awards broadcast. It was initiated by Chris Rock making a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. After Smith approached Rock and slapped his face, he angrily came back to his seat, shouting at the comedian as he struggled to defend his own joke.
A ‘Shocking’ Moment In Oscars History
The entire incident was one of the single most shocking moments in the history of Oscars, with a stunned Chris Rock acknowledging the whole incident as much after he was hit by calling the whole experience the “greatest night in the history of television.” Throughout its rich 94-year old history, the Academy Awards have gained a reputation for not just fashion and glamor, but also for some brewing controversies. As a result, there have been a few memorable moments – with some of them being captured live during its broadcast. Smith, who won the first Oscar of his career for his brilliant performance in King Richard, is barely the kind of star who’s besieged by controversy. Nonetheless, Rock’s joke has changed everything now, leaving many fans to wonder why Will Smith wasn’t removed from the Awards ceremony after the incident.
Here’s the REAL reason why Will Smith Wasn’t Removed
While a formal review of Smith’s assault on Rock is taking place at the moment, CNN has now reported that a source close to the Academy has come forward to explain why its members did not remove Smith after his violent outburst. As per the source, an inability to mobilize “Academy decision-makers” between the time when Smith had slapped Rock and the time when the Best Actor was given out was the true reason. As revealed by the source:
“Academy leadership strongly considered removing Will Smith from last night’s broadcast following the incident. There were immediate discussions but the Academy decision makers were seated in various spots in the Dolby Theater and couldn’t mobilize to make a decision before he won best actor.”
A total of 44 minutes had passed from the point where Smith slapped Rock to the point where the 53-year-old actor won his first Oscar ever. It looks like a fine amount of time where Smith may have been easily escorted out of the theater. However, at the same time, given that Will Smith was the winner of the Best Actor category, removing him from the Awards may have created an even bigger problem out of an incident that the Oscars were certainly eager to move on from. Broadcasting live comes along with its own set of risks, however in this very case, very few may have expected the mild-mannered Smith to react in such a harsh way to a joke from comedian Chris Rock. While poking fun at Hollywood stars isn’t really a rarity at awards, Rock had specifically targeted Smith’s wife – Pinkett Smith’s alopecia condition – a subject that clearly isn’t open to jokes.
The whole incident is still very fresh in the minds of those who were there and the viewers – and it will be some time before the whole story comes to an end. While it has already been established that there will be no legal action on the part of Rock, whether or not the Academy decides to take any disciplinary action against Will Smith is yet to be seen. It’s quite unlikely that Smith will go on to face any sort of punishment, considering the fact that he just took home the Best Actor Oscar. However, the whole incident does bring forward the question as to what really is acceptable behavior at the famed Awards ceremony – even when a situation gets really challenging.