Film academy condemns Will Smith slap, starts review of Oscars incident

LOS ANGELES - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, on Monday condemned Will Smith's slap of presenter Chris Rock at Sunday night's ceremony and said it had started a formal review of the incident.

Smith strode on stage during the televised ceremony and struck Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about the appearance of Smith's wife. Less than an hour later, Smith won best actor for his role in "King Richard."

Pinkett-Smith had revealed that she was suffering from alopecia.

In a statement on Monday, the academy said it "condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show."

"We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law," the academy added.

Best actor winner Will Smith smacked presenter Chris Rock in the face with an open hand and shouted a vulgarity at the comedian for making a joke about his wife's appearance at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday.


Rock made a joke about the hairstyle of Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith that referenced the movie "G.I. Jane" in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.

Smith, who is nominated for best actor for "King Richard," walked on stage and slapped Rock in what at first appeared to be a scripted joke. But the mood turned somber moments later when Smith, back in his seat, shouted back, "Keep my wife's name out of your f----- mouth."

A few moments after the incident, Smith won the Best Actor prize but he didn't mention anything about the slapping incident in his tearful acceptance speech, he did start off by saying, "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," as if he was referencing how protective he could get about his wife and family. -- Reuters