The Academy President Admits, “We Were Inadequate” in Our Reaction Time to Will Smith’s Slap
At the opening of the 2023 Oscars Nominees Luncheon, Janet Yang, the current president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), acknowledged that the organization did not handle the backlash over Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony well.
The audience, which included celebrities like Tom Cruise, was addressed by Yang, who said, “I’m sure you all recall we had an extraordinary incident at the Oscars.” “What happened onstage was wholly inappropriate, and our organization’s response was insufficient. This taught us that the Academy must act with complete accountability and transparency. You must act quickly, compassionately, and aggressively for yourself and your industry, especially during times of crisis. Going forward, you should and can anticipate nothing less from us.
While Rock was introducing the best documentary feature category at the 2022 Oscars, Smith entered the stage and smacked Rock across the face. Regarding Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, Rock made a joke. Following the slap, Smith jumped back into his chair and yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” Smith was present as the event went on and was given the best actor Oscar for his work in “King Richard.”
At the end of March, the 2022 Oscars were shown. On April 1, Smith announced his resignation from the Academy, saying, “I betrayed the confidence of the Academy. I denied other nominees and winners the chance to honor and be honored for their outstanding efforts. My heart is broken.
It took the Academy a few more days to declare that Smith’s AMPAS membership had been revoked and that he would no longer be permitted to attend the Oscars event for the next ten years.
The Academy stated in a statement on April 8 that “the 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many members of our community who performed amazing work this past year; sadly, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and damaging behavior we saw Mr. Smith demonstrate on stage.” “We failed to address the issue in the room during our telecast effectively. We apologize for this. We missed the chance to lead by example for our visitors, viewers, and the Academy family worldwide because we needed to prepare for the unprecedented.
In a video post from July 2022, Smith again expressed regret for his behavior and said, “I’ve gone out to Chris, and the word that came back is he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will contact us.”
Since the Oscars snub, Smith has starred in Apple’s slavery thriller “Emancipation” and revealed that Sony is working on a fourth “Bad Boys” film.