“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show.
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.”
And as of this afternoon, according to AP reporter Zeke Miller (with coinciding confirmation by the Academy), it sounds like Will was actually asked to leave the ceremonyfollowing the assault, because he broke the Academy’s code of conduct (which was officially instated in 2017 after all of the Harvey Weinstein controversy), but he refused to leave the show.
Moments after the aforementioned assault, immediately following a commercial break, Will actually took the stage to accept his Best Actor award for his starring role in the King Richard film.
Of course, most people would’ve been escorted out by LAPD (likely in handcuffs) after a stunt like that, but this is Hollywood, and clearly anything goes if you’re famous enough and have the right connections. Chris also declined to press formal charges at the time.
While there have been people calling for Will to be stripped of his award, that’s unlikely at this point, but the Academy notes there are several consequences on the table up for discussion, including:
“Suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
And tonight, in his his first public appearance since the incident during a show at The Wilbur in Boston, as part of his Ego Death tour, Chris had some comments about the situation for the audience.
In audio obtained from Variety, Chris addressed the topic by saying that he’s still processing everything, and he does plan to eventually elaborate from both a serious, and comedic, standpoint after he gets all of his thoughts together, saying:
“How was your weekend? I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend.
I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”
You can hear a fan yell “Fuck Will Smith!” in the background, to which Chris responded:
“I’m going to tell some jokes. It’s nice to just be out.”
Major props to Chris for handling the whole situation the way he has. He’s been a class act all the way through… but whenever he does finally address the situation with some more in-depth thoughts, look out. I have a feeling it’s gonna be comedic gold.
Of course, the show tonight was the hottest ticket in town and completely sold out, and it’s the first of a six-night run Chris is doing in Boston:
We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined.