Will Smith Faces Possible ‘Suspension, Expulsion’ From Oscars

Serious consequences are underway for Will Smith’s violent attack on comedian Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards. 

By Brooks Welch

Serious consequences could be underway for Will Smith’s violent attack on comedian Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards. 

On March 27th, while presenting an award later given to Questlove, Chris Rock compared Jada Pinkett-Smith to fictional character “G.I. Jane,” which brought attention to her lack of hair. It was public information that the actress struggles with autoimmune disorder alopecia, which generates massive hair loss. Smith, after laughing at the joke initially, went on stage and striked Rock across the face. “Keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth!” Smith shouted twice at Rock. Smith was still given his award for Best Actor following the altercation.

Variety reported that the Board of Governors held an emergency meeting to discuss disciplinary action for Smith’s behavior. The first time Oscar winner for his role in ‘King Richard’ is facing “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted.”

According to the NY Times, the Academy asked Smith to leave the award ceremony after attacking Chris Rock, but he refused. 

In a letter to board members, film academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said the leaders of the nonprofit organization were “upset and outraged” that the celebration of achievement in the film industry was “overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee,” as reported by NBC

The letter apologized to Chris Rock for what happened on the Academy’s stage and thanked him for his “resilience in that moment.” Nominees and viewers were also given an apology for “what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”

The Board gave Smith a 15 days notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and has the opportunity to provide a written response.

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 18, when the Academy may take disciplinary action.