The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to take legal action against actor Will Smith after he smacked actor-comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. The board has now addressed a letter to its members, notifying them of the next steps in the aftermath of the tragedy, which is still making news today.
Will Smith smacked Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia and wears her hair shaven. Soon later, Will won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in King Richard.
As reported by Hindustan Times, a letter, signed by Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, obtained by Variety read, “Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year. We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behaviour on stage by a nominee."
The letter further read, "To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith's actions that transpired Sunday night. As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy's Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith. As governed by California law regarding members of nonprofit organisations like the Academy, and set forth in our Standards of Conduct, this must follow an official process that will take a few weeks."
Lastly, the letter read, "We will continue to update you on any developments, but we also ask that you respect your Board, Academy staff and the process as this unfolds so it can work in the considered way it was intended and mandated. Please trust that the Board of Governors will conduct this process in a manner that is both expedient and respectful of all involved while maintaining the standards of the Academy."
According to Reuters, the Los Angeles Police Department was aware of the event but did not conduct an investigation because Chris Rock refused to submit a police complaint. Will apologised to the Academy in his acceptance speech and then to Chris Rock via an Instagram post following the event.