Oscars boss admits they were wrong to allow Will Smith to stay at last year’s ceremony after he punched Chris Rock saying they ‘would respond more swiftly in removing the person’ now as final preparations are made for this year’s event
- Academy President says Oscars has security on hand for any incidents this year
- Academy would ‘swiftly remove’ someone for Smith’s actions at the 95th awards
Academy President Janet Yang has said the organization would now respond differently to how they dealt with Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars last year.
As final preparations are made for the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on Monday 13 March, the American film producer told Good Morning Britain that the Academy ‘would respond more swiftly in removing the person’ should a similar incident happen this year.
She confirmed the Academy had ‘a team of people, we have security’ on hand to defuse any issues this year, and backed the decision to ban Smith from the ceremony for the next ten years.
She said: ‘The board of governors made a decision and we are going to stick by that decision.’
Will Smith hits Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards on 27 March 2022
Jimmy Kimmel speaks during the 95th Oscars Arrivals Carpet Roll Out at Ovation Hollywood on 8 March, 2023 in Hollywood, California
Will Smith walked up onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards on Monday, March 27 2022.
The annual ceremony was hosted by comedians Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes.
READ MORE: Inside Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith’s feud after 26-year friendship was left in tatters following THAT slap – as comic mocks her affair in controversial new Netflix show filmed in the city of her birth
Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature Film.
Before the presentation, he jibed with the audience and made the joke that Smith’s wife Jada looked like ‘G.I. Jane’ because of her bald head.
She had recently revealed that she suffers from alopecia – hair loss.
Smith at first appeared to laugh at the joke.
The camera then showed the moment he turned and stormed onto the stage to slap Rock in the face.
Rock then rubbed his cheek and said: ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’
Back in his seat, Smith shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!’
He went on to win the award for Best Actor.
He apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees, saying, ‘love makes you do crazy things.’
Rock said he would not press charges.
Soon after, there were calls for Smith to be stripped of the honor.
He kept the accolade but was banned from the Oscars and other events hosted by the Academy for the next ten years.
Earlier today, MailOnline reported that Smith was said to be ’embarassed and hurt’ by Rock’s decision to base a new Netflix special on the clash.
“Chris Rock: Selective Outrage” saw the comedian talk about the events surrounding the slap and his feelings towards Smith since.
He said: ‘I got smacked at the f****** Oscars by this motherf*****. And people are like “Did it hurt?” It still hurts. I got Summertime ringing in my ear f***** drums.
‘But I’m not a victim, you will never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying you will never see it, like, “I couldn’t believe it and I love Men in Black.” No, it’s never going to happen.’
Sources told Entertainment Tonight that Smith has been deeply affected by the Netflix special, and is keen for Rock to ‘let it go.’
An insider told DailyMail.com: ‘Chris never got a one-on-one private apology from Will, only the public one which really meant nothing,’
Will has only addressed the situation twice – once on Instagram the day after the Oscars and once in a video apology.
The source insisted that Rock’s decision to rehash the scandal in his Netflix show had nothing to do with seeking revenge, but was rather a way for the comedian to ‘get it all out’ and ‘be done with it’.
Installers roll out a champagne colored carpet to mark the beginning of Oscars week where movie stars will walk to get to the Dolby Theater for the 95th Academy Awards
Academy boss Janet Yang speaks to Good Morning Britain about Will Smith’s slap last year
Ahead of this year’s Oscars there has also been some controversy surrounding English actor Andrea Riseborough being nominated for Best Actress.
She found herself at the center of a controversy for the nomination for the film “To Leslie”, which was promoted by stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Mia Farrow, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and Edward Norton, despite the film not performing well at the box office.
There were calls for her to be stripped of the nomination as some believed the campaigning violated the Oscars’ rules.
Janet Yang said: ‘We felt that Andrea had earned her nomination fair and square. At the same time, we are going to – right after The Oscars – we’re going to take a very, very close look at the campaign regulations and make sure they reflect our changing environment.
‘Meaning a lot more social media and just how things are communicated.
‘So, it was a good wake up call for us.’
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