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Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock over ‘out of line’ Oscars slap


Smith said storming the stage and physically attacking the comedian was “out of line”, adding he was unable to handle a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s medical condition.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith posted on Instagram.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“My behaviour 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.

“I would like to publicly apologise 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.”

Smith won best actor for his performance in King Richard shortly after the on stage attack.

The actor also apologised to the Williams family for “staining” the “gorgeous journey” to the win.

“I am a work in progress,” he said.

This comes after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Smith’s behaviour this morning.

Chris Rock, left, reacts after being hit on stage by Will Smith. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show,” the statement said.

“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.”

Earlier, CNN learned that Academy leadership “strongly considered” removing Smith from the Oscars telecast after the incident, according to a source close to the situation.

“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 mobilise to make a decision before he won best actor,” the source said.

Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his best actor acceptance speech.

Will Smith is emotional as he accepts the Best Actor award at the 2022 Oscars
Will Smith was emotional as he accepted the Best Actor award at the 2022 Oscars (ABC America)

Following the ceremony, the Academy Awards tweeted a short statement about the on-stage incident that read: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

At least a dozen members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, met virtually on Monday morning to discuss a response to Smith slapping Rock, according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting.

The meeting was described as “heated” and “divided.” There was no agreement on further action, according to the sources.

The dozen members who met on their own volition and are being described as influential and recognisable members of the Academy, including actors and directors.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (WireImage,)

The group does not have any disciplinary power, but they are considered high profile enough that the Board of Governor’s for the Academy could be influenced in any response they may have.

Some people on the call said the Academy mishandled the incident with its initial tweet. Others feel that the situation was handled properly and no further steps should be taken, according to the sources who spoke to CNN.

It’s unclear if the Academy leadership is planning on meeting to discuss the unprecedented situation. CNN has contacted the Academy for further comment.

Historic wins, musical joy and jaw-dropping confrontation at the Oscars

The Academy’s Board of Governors has the power to discipline members who violate their code of conduct through a vote for suspension or expulsion from the Academy.

Rock chose not to press charges against Smith over the onstage altercation, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

There are more than 9,000 voting members of the Academy, comprised of Hollywood artists and film executives.



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