Academy gives update on Will Smith and Chris Rock slap controversy investigation: ‘We are upset and outraged’

Days after Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is yet to take a legal action against the former. Now the board has sent a letter to its members, informing them about the course of action after the incident which continues to make headlines even today. Also read: Jim Carrey questions Will Smith getting a standing ovation at Oscars: ‘I was sickened, would have sued him for $200 mn’

Will Smith had slapped Chris Rock when he cracked a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who keeps a shaved head due to alopecia. Soon after, Will received his first ever Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in the film King Richard.

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.”

“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.”

It further 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 has said it was aware of the incident but was not investigating because Chris Rock declined to file a police report. After the incident, Will apologised to the academy in his acceptance speech and later to Chris Rock through an Instagram post.

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