That’s what The Academy is attempting to find out.
On Sunday night, the 94th Academy Awards became a firestorm for debate when Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her struggle with alopecia – an autoimmune disease that causes one’s hair to fall out. Smith yelled “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth” and walked on stage to slap Rock in a move that stunned the world.
The Academy has now “condemned” the incident and is investigating.
The Academy ‘Condemns The Actions Of Will Smith At The Oscars
Shortly after the incident took place, the Academy posted a tweet that read “The Academy does not condone violence in 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.”
Many fans took that tweet to mean that the Academy was hoping to sweep the event under the rug. However, it seems that was not the case. On Monday, PEOPLE reported the Academy’s follow-up statement, which condemned the new Academy Award winner and his actions.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the statement read. “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 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.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
They also shared the organization’s code of conduct, which was released in 2017 after a series of sexual misconduct scandals rocked the entertainment industry.
Breaking Down The Academy’s Rules Of Conduct
The organization’s Standards of Conduct are said to “provide an ethical framework for Academy members” and states that “members should act in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the Academy.”
The document lists “physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome” as an example of unacceptable conduct. The document also states that “the Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership.”
Many have been calling for Will Smith to lose his membership as a result of the incident. One source told PEOPLE that “Behind the scenes, there were a lot of people, and different voices and bifurcated opinions, weighing in on what had just happened and what was the best and quickest course of action. People were also checking that Chris Rock was okay.”
They continued, “Basically there were just minutes to first figure out if it was a stunt and then try and get people on the same page — including the producers, ABC, the Academy, reps who were not all in the same place or all looking at their phones in real-time, and even to see if Chris wanted to press charges.”
There was allegedly a discussion about whether to remove Will Smith from the auditorium and uncertainty as to whether or not Chris Rock would press charges against Will Smith.
Chris Rock Declines To Press Charges Against Will Smith… For Now
It seems that Rock is not going to press charges against Will Smith, at least, not right now.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” a spokesperson from the department said. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved 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.”
It is still possible for Chris Rock to press charges against Smith at a later date if he chooses to do so. One inside source told the New York Post that what Smith did is “basically assault” and mentioned that the Academy may be considering taking back Smith’s first-ever Oscar.
“Everyone was just so shocked in the room; it was so uncomfortable,” the source added. “I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now.”