The Academy acknowledges they took too long to react to Will Smith’s slap on Chris Rock, and that’s absolutely true. It was one of the most controversial moments in Oscar’s history, and it happened live, causing a total shock no one saw coming. From that moment on, Smith’s career went downhill. He was dropped from productions that he had already scheduled, and he was banned from the Academy for the next ten years because he didn’t consider the consequences of his actions.
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made tasteless jokes about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett, which caused Smith to get up from his seat and attack his colleague. Obviously, no one in attendance knew how to react at the time, not even the Academy, which is why they currently acknowledge that they took too long to react promptly.
The Academy on Will Smith and Chris Rock Incident
Janet Yang, president of the Hollywood Academy, acknowledged that the organization mishandled the case of Will Smith’s slap on Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony and revealed that the decisions they made were not up to par. “Last year’s events were unacceptable, and our response was not up to par. It was a turning point to act with greater transparency and responsibility,” Janet Yang admitted at the 2023 Oscar nominees’ luncheon.
The president admitted that the response was “inadequate” and that, in a moment of crisis like the one they experienced, they needed to act with “speed, compassion, and decisiveness,” especially in favor of the film industry.
“This is a family, and the values of faith, unity, and solidarity between the industry and the viewers prevail. The Academy has learned from its mistakes,” she continued.
So far, none of those involved have spoken about the incident again; days after the event, Will Smith went on a spiritual retreat in India and, months later, offered a public apology for the harm caused.”
Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva.