Will Smith may be asked to hand back his Best Actor statuette following his live onstage assault of Chris Rock, industry insiders told The Post.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which handed out awards Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, has strict guidelines in its code of conduct.
One highly placed Hollywood source told The Post after the incident: “It’s basically assault. Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable.”
“I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now,” the insider said.
Meanwhile, the Academy cryptically announced from its official Twitter account: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
Smith was seen laughing and posing with photos following his win, as industry bigwigs like Judd Apatow took aim.
“Knocked Up” director Apatow was highly critical of Smith in a now-deleted tweet: “He could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence. They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.”
Industry insiders told The Post that the slap heard around the world could cost Smith his Oscar.
TV comic Fortune Feimster tweeted: “Someone in the audience charged the stage Friday night during my opener’s set and attempted to throw the speaker, started taking swings at the people trying to stop her and pushed down a security guard. It’s scary times. So, no, I don’t find someone getting hit on stage amusing.”
The Post has reached out to the Academy for comment.
But its conduct code, released in 2017 in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandal that hit the industry, emphasizes the importance of “upholding the Academy’s values,” like inclusion, fostering supportive environments, and “respect for human dignity.”
At the time, AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson wrote to members: “Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers,” Variety reported.
Smith later apologized in his teary speech.Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
“In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity. “
She added: “There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.”
The footage was censored in the US.Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
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In terms of the law, Smith could be in the clear. The Los Angeles Police Department told The Post in a statement that it is aware of the incident.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” a rep said. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”