Many rumors have been circulating since Will Smith’s violent outburst at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday. People are levying everything from conspiracy theories to accusations of blame at the award show for not intervening sooner.
The Academy has been catching heat for allowing Smith to proceed with the night as if nothing happened. On Wednesday (March 30), the board met to discuss disciplinary proceedings against Smith. In a statement, they claimed they tried to get Smith to leave the show after the infamous slap, but he reportedly “refused.”
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” The Academy said. “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
The board will meet once again on April 18 to discuss their course of action further. They also addressed Rock directly and apologized for not taking immediate action after the infamous slap.
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” read the statement. “Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
Many are pointing out the hypocrisy of the Oscars for reportedly asking Smith to leave, yet giving him all of the time that he wanted during his acceptance speech. People are also furious at the standing ovation that Smith received from the show’s attendees during his speech and the support he received from celebrities.
Samuel L. Jackson gave Smith a high-five after the incident. Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, and Tyler Perry all consoled him. Celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Tiffany Haddish have said that Smith was simply protecting his wife. However, as Eric Benet pointed out, many people didn’t seem to immediately rush to the aid of Chris Rock.
As the week progressed, many celebrities are increasingly voicing their support for Rock. Wanda Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres that she is traumatized by the incident. Rock’s brother Tony has refused to forgive Smith. Jim Carrey said that he would have sued Smith for $200 million dollars. Fans have shown overwhelming support, as Rock’s tickets on his “Ego Death World Tour” are currently selling like hotcakes.