Academy Leaders Met With Will Smith Before Emergency Meeting About Slap Fallout

While the 94th Academy Awards were filled with surprising moments, none caught the public’s attention quite like the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock. The moment, which culminated in Smith walking onstage and slapping Rock in the face, occurred after Rock made a joke about the haircut of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, which is a result of her years-long battle with the autoimmune disease alopecia. Across the week, the conversation surrounding “The Slap” has continued to evolve, especially as some have wondered what repercussions Smith could face for the ordeal. Reports have indicated that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony following the event, but refused, and that the leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have held an “emergency meeting” to discuss what’s next.

A new report from Variety sheds even more light on the situation, revealing that Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson reportedly met with Smith via Zoom to discuss the fallout prior. Sources are saying that the “brief” conversation lasted for roughly 30 minutes, and that Smith apologized to Rubin and Hudson for what happened, and “expressed his awareness” that there will be repercussions to the slap. While it is unclear exactly what consequences Smith could face from the Academy, the statement released following their emergency meeting indicated it could include “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions.”

Smith, who went on to win the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard later that night, has since taken to social media to issue a formal apology to Rock and the Academy.

“Violence in all of its form is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in his post. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” Smith continued. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”


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