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Will Smith said:"My behavior was unacceptable and indefensible"

Will Smith to Chris Rock after the slap

By M. F.PaulPublished about a year ago 6 min read

Oscar winner apologizes to comedian hours after the academy announced "a formal investigation" into the incident that marred the awards show

The apology was long in coming, but it finally arrived. Will Smith stole the spotlight from the movies on Oscar night, with his slap in the face of comedian Chris Rock . When collecting the first statuette of his career, as best leading actor, the interpreter apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and to the nominees, but left the victim of his aggression out of his apologies. He avoided the microphones of the press and went to dance at the Vanity Fair magazine party, where he forced naturalness while a djenlivened the evening with some musical themes by the performer and musician. The weight of his actions, however, has forced the actor to issue a statement on Monday. “Violence, in any of its forms, is poisonous and destructive. My behavior last night was unacceptable and indefensible... I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong, ”Smith wrote on social media about him.

The controversy has given the gala of the 94th edition of the Oscars the long-awaited audience it was looking for. He's got it for all the wrong reasons. More than 15 million people watched the ceremony, according to preliminary figures to be updated on Tuesday, an increase of more than 50% from the previous year. The cinema has been the least of it. The incident started by Rock making fun of Jada Pinkett Smith , Will Smith's wife, took away all the other memories of a night that wanted to show the best face of an industry that is trying to recover from the blow of the pandemic.

"The jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me and I reacted emotionally," Smith is justified, who says he is "embarrassed" and that his actions do not represent the man he wants to be. . Rock, one of the most important black comedians in the United States along with Kevin Hart, snapped at Picket Smith that she could star in the sequel to Lieutenant O'Neil, a 1997 film with Demi Moore in the role of a soldier, alluding to his hair shaved. But the actress and partner of Will Smith publicly announced long ago that it is not an aesthetic choice, but a medical problem: she suffers from alopecia. Rock, in any case, had already made jokes at the expense of Pinkett Smith at an Oscar gala. It was in 2016, when he mocked the appealto the boycott that Smith's wife carried out due to the lack of diversity in the ceremony. “Isn't she a TV actress? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's underwear. She wasn't invited,” she said then.

Hours before Will Smith's apology, the academy condemned the act of violence and announced that it had opened "a formal investigation" into the altercation. The organization, which has almost 10,000 members but is headed by 64 powerful professionals, called governors, has made it clear that it is exploring the "consequences" of the coup, according to its internal regulations and California law. The group met this Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter , to discuss the measures to be taken after the episode. On Sunday, just after the ceremony, Rock had ruled out pressing charges against the actor, according to the Los Angeles police.

How to clean up the reputation of a winner of the award for best actor who has given such a display of violence in front of his guild and in front of the eyes of the whole world? The question is for Meredith Sullivan, who manages the public image of today's Oscar winner and who must clean up the mess left by her client. According to Variety , Sullivan came down to reprimand the actor for her behavior during several commercial breaks in the broadcast. Other versions indicate that some members of the organization asked that Smith be removed from the theater, something that did not happen. Denzel Washington, also nominated in the same category, actor Tyler Perry and Will Packer, producer of the ceremony, came to talk to him to reassure him.

Will Smith was awarded by his colleagues for his portrait of Richard Williams, father of the tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, who last night applauded confused before the speech of apology / thanks of the protagonist of a film that intended to honor his family. Smith has also apologized to them. But the outburst overshadowed The Williams Method . "I've known him for two years and I've never seen him like this," said Reinaldo Marcus Green, director of the film, on Sunday night, who tried to answer what happened, the only question that was on everyone's mind. "I hadn't even heard him raise his voice," he confessed. This Monday, Smith regretted having "tarnished a beautiful trip for everyone."

possible punishments

The academy sent along with the brief statement, of just 30 words, the rules of conduct for the members of the organization. This after a night in which he did not know how to deal with the episode, which was immediately pointed out on social networks as toxic behavior . Journalists were asked not to question the winners about the incident. Smith was the only one who did not appear in the press room after receiving the award from him. This newspaper asked if this was a decision of the academy or the actor, but received no response.

"There is no place in academia for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a way that violates standards of decency," the organization's rules state. Unacceptable behaviors include discrimination, harassment, physical contact without consent, intimidation, abusive and threatening behavior, bullying . Revenge against those who report sexual abuse is also punishable.

The leadership of the academy debates internally the punishments to which Smith is exposed for his aggression: "Suspension or expulsion from membership." At the parties that followed the delivery gala, overshadowed by the incident, many professionals wondered if the organization should withdraw the award that was given to him minutes after the attack. Something that seems unlikely.

“There will be consequences, I'm sure, but I don't think that's one of them,” Whoopi Goldberg, the 1991 Oscar winner for Ghost , said on The View television show Monday morning. The actress is one of the governors in the branch of actors, so she knows first-hand the discussions that are taking place within the organization. Another member of the board who asked not to be cited by her name explained to this newspaper that the aggression has created a climate of discomfort and sadness within the academy. Feelings that will take time to dissipate.


About the Creator

M. F.Paul

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