Janet Yang, the Academy’s president, has stated that the Academy will now respond differently to Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars last year.
If a similar event occurs this year, the Academy ‘would respond more rapidly in removing the person,’ according to the American film producer, ahead of the 95th Academy Awards presentation on Monday, March 13th.
She acknowledged that the Academy has a “team of people, we have security” on hand to defuse any problems this year, and she supported the decision to bar Smith from the event for the next ten years.
She said: ‘The board of governors made a decision and we are going to stick by that decision.’
After assaulting Rock on stage, the Academy was heavily chastised for allowing Will Smith to remain in the audience and accept the award.
During the 94th Academy Awards on Monday, March 27, 2022, Will Smith stepped up to the stage and smacked Chris Rock.
Rock took the stage to give the Best Documentary Feature Film award.
He joked with the crowd before the presentation that Smith’s wife Jada looked like ‘G.I. Jane’ because of her bald head, despite disclosing that she suffered from alopecia – hair loss.
Smith appeared to giggle at the joke at first. The camera then captured the moment he stormed onto the stage and slapped Rock in the face.
Rock then rubbed his cheek and said: ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’
Back in his seat, Smith shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!’
He went on to win the award for Best Actor. Smith apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees, saying, ‘love makes you do crazy things.’
Rock said he would not press charges.
Soon after, there were calls for Smith to be stripped of the honor. He kept the accolade but was banned from the Oscars and other events hosted by the Academy for the next ten years.