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Academy "condemns" Will Smith's actions at Oscars, says it's launching a formal review

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at Oscars
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at Oscars 03:03

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday that it "condemns" Will Smith's actions at the Oscars and is launching a formal review into his conduct. Smith shocked audiences on Sunday when he walked on stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock, who had just made a joke about his wife. 

"The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show," the organization said 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."

The review comes following intense public debate about whether Smith's actions were justified or unwarranted. Smith could be sanctioned if he is found to be at fault during the review, but it's not yet clear if the Academy would go as far as to take away the "Best Actor" award he won later that night. 

"We're not going to take that Oscar from him," actress Whoopi Goldberg, who serves on the Academy's Board of Directors, said Monday. "There will be consequences, I'm sure."

The incident came after Rock joked that he was looking forward to a "G.I. Jane" sequel starring Jada Pinkett Smith, making a reference to her shaved head. Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about losing her hair from the autoimmune disease alopecia.

2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills. Lionel Hahn / Getty Images

Smith then walked on stage and smacked Rock, before returning to his seat and yelling, "keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth." 

Later that night, Smith won "Best Actor" for his role as Richard Williams in the "King Richard" biopic. During his acceptance speech, Smith tearfully apologized to the Academy, but not Rock, while giving a speech on the importance of defending your family. 

"I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Smith said. "This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award. It's not about winning an award for me. It's about being able to shine a light on all of the people. Tim and Trevor and Zack and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of 'King Richard,' Venus and Serena, the entire Williams family. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams."

Following the live telecast, the Academy said in a statement that it "does not condone violence of any form." 

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