Oscar’s in Talks of Receding Will Smith’s 2023 Invitation

2022 Oscar winner Will Smith took to the stage more times than prompted on Sunday night. Following jokes made about Jada Pickett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, Smith found himself walking on stage during actor Chris Rocks’ speech and slapped him in the face. 

Following the incident, Smith received an award for his movie King Richard shortly after and took to the stage once again to accept his award. While on stage to accept his award, Smith apologized for the incident stating, “I want to apologize to the Academy; I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. 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 the people.” Although apologizing to the Academy and the nominees, Smith failed to apologize to Rock himself. 

His apology followed after many prominent Hollywood actors shared their disdain for the altercation. Succeeding the ceremony, the Academy responded to the conflict in a statement on social media stating, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.” says the social media post. It also states that the winners “deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movies lovers around the world.”

Similarly, Los Angeles Police Department released a statement stating, “LAPD investigate entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards Program. The incident involved one involved slapping another. The individual has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

Despite Smiths’ apology and Rocks’ refusal to press charges, the altercation was still a breach of conduct. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Standard of Conduct states, “Physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome, or coercive sexual attention,” also stating “Intimidation, stalking, abusive or threatening behavior, or bullying.” and therefore could suspend Smiths membership and prompt permanent loss of privileges to participate and attend Academy events, including the Awards ceremony. 

Despite the upheaval of upset board members and actors, the producers and organization decided not to remove Smith from the event and the Dolby Theater.

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