For those of us who’ve been eagerly waiting for a sequel to the Will Smith and Chris Rock drama at the Oscars, it’s finally here.
And to those who haven’t been keeping up, here’s a quick TL;DR summary for you before we jump right into the newest updates regarding this incident.
After the infamous incident where Will Smith got up and slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars after the latter made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith and her autoimmune condition, there was a huge uproar regarding how the two men should have been dealt with.
Pinkett-Smith has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss, and has addressed her condition publicly before. Rock’s joke referenced the 1997 film GI Jane, where another actress, Demi Moore, shaved her head for the role.
Smith then got up from his seat, walked on stage and gave Rock a hard smack on the face.
To add insult to injury, Will Smith was allowed to stay at the ceremony and was even awarded the award of best actor for his work in King Richard barely an hour later, angering many audiences around the globe.
You can also watch this video to know more:
After his controversial actions, many called for the Academy to take action, and
On Monday (28 March), Smith issued a public apology on Instagram that was addressed to Rock, producers and viewers.
In his apology, he mentioned that his behaviour was “unacceptable and inexcusable”, and that “there is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness”.
Statements issued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences afterwards revealed that after attacking Rock, Smith actually refused to leave the ceremony when he was asked to.
Following a week of meetings and speculation regarding the fate of Smith in the Academy, Smith announced on 1 April that he has resigned from the Academy, and no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.
Smith’s Resignation From the Academy
Calling his actions towards Rock during the Oscars ceremony last Sunday (27 March) “shocking, painful and inexcusable”, Smith announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday (1 April).
Prior to this, many celebrities, including those who were present at the ceremony, condemned Smith’s actions and called him out publicly for his violence.
In a statement issued by Smith, the actor wrote, “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.
“So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”
He also noted in his statement, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Smith May Still Face Sanctions
On the same day, President of the Academy David Rubin revealed that the board had accepted Smith’s resignation, but the board will continue to discuss if actions need to be taken against Will Smith.
If the board chooses to continue with disciplinary proceedings, Smith may face other sanctions despite his resignation from the Academy.
This issue will continue to be discussed during the next board meeting later this month, which is scheduled to take place on 18 April.
But that’s not all. There’s more.
Police Were Ready to Arrest Smith
According to Will Packer, the producer of the Oscars, the Los Angeles police officers who were on site at the Academy Awards on 27 March were prepared to take action against Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock on stage.
Rock was on stage at that point in time as an award presenter.
Later that night, a police spokesperson also revealed that they did not arrest Smith as Rock had “declined to press charges”, but did not give any more information regarding how both individuals interacted with each other on that day.
Packer confirmed the same thing, emphasising the fact that Rock “was being very dismissive of those options” that the police had offered him in terms of dealing with Smith.
Packer also shared more about what happened between the police officers and Rock on that day.
“They (the police officers) were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment,” Packer recalled during an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.
“They said, we will go get him. We are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now,” Packer emphasised.
The police officers also began to talk to Rock and came up with various courses of action that they could take against Smith on his behalf.
Recounting Rock’s reaction to the various options that he was given, Packer said that the comedian kept telling them, “No, no, no, I’m fine.
“And even to the point where I said: ‘Rock, let them finish,'” Packer noted.
Eventually, Rock insisted that no action be taken against Smith at the moment, and the police had no choice but to, well, not arrest Smith.
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