Oscars Response To Will Smith Slap Was ‘Inadequate,’ Academy President Admits

At its annual luncheon honoring the Oscar nominees, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) president is expected to welcome and congratulate the cast, crew, and other guests.

This year, however, there was also a significant issue that the new Academy President Janet Yang needed to address: Will Smith’s immediately iconic slap of host Chris Rock during the March 2022 Oscars presentation.

“What happened onstage was fully unacceptable, and the response from our organization was inadequate. We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions. Particularly in times of crisis, you must act swiftly, compassionately, and decisively for yourself and our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward.”

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Smith attacked Rock on stage, and the world watched in shock as he was permitted to maintain his composure and go on to win his Oscar. Removing Smith from the event was “seriously discussed,” a source told Entertainment Weekly a day after the event.

It set a terrible precedent that he wasn’t, not to mention the cold hard truth that Smith was likely only allowed to stay because he’s one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Had nearly any other attendee assaulted Rock onstage, they would’ve been removed.

Oscars Response To Will Smith Slap

We can only read between the lines, but Yang’s comments that her organization’s response was “inadequate” indicate that the Academy acknowledges the wrongdoing by letting the actor remain.

A year after the Academy’s controversial decision to banish a handful of awards to a pre-taped ceremony, Yang also drew cheers from the audience when mentioning that all of this year’s trophies will be handed out life and reminded nominees of the “45-second rule.” As in, winners are only allowed 45 seconds for the acceptance speeches. “Keep it short, sweet, and to the point, please,” Yang said.

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