The Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars from last Sunday continues to send seismic waves through the film industry. On Thursday, it was revealed that the comedian and Best Actor Oscar-winning attacker spoke via video call on Tuesday, March 29, with the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at Hollywood, David Rubin, and with the institution’s CEO, Dawn Hudson. Smith apologized for his conduct, which marred the 94th edition of the ceremony. This call caused a crisis in the leadership of the academy because its content was not explained, its existence was not even discussed, during the emergency meeting the next day, Wednesday, during which the sanction process against the protagonist of King Richard: a winning family.
Smith called Rubin and Hudson to convey his apology, which he posted on his Instagram shortly after. The Variety publication reported that the actor explained his reasons for losing his temper after hearing a joke from Rock about the shaved head of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. Variety assures that the video call lasted half an hour, but sources from the organization assured Deadline, broadcast journalism site, which lasted only six minutes.
Rubin sent the nearly 10,000 members of the Academy a letter on Tuesday expressing his anger that the big movie night was overshadowed by Smith’s “harmful and unacceptable” behavior. The organization studies the possible sanctions against the actor. It was the first explicit condemnation of what had happened, after Sunday it was surprising how a man who assaulted a presenter in front of millions watching him on TV returned to the stage minutes later to collect a prize. Rubin then promised to keep all academics informed.
This was not the case. On Wednesday, the first meeting of the governors (the board that represents the 10,000 academics) was held to discuss what happened. Smith’s call to Rubin and Hudson was not mentioned during the reunion, multiple sources told Variety and Deadline. This generated suspicion in the group of directors, including Laura Dern, Whoopi Goldberg, Susanne Bier, Ava DuVernay and Steven Spielberg. “Why would they want to hide something like that from us?” This only contributes to creating an atmosphere of suspicion, ”explained to these publications a governor who preferred to remain anonymous. EL PAÍS contacted one of the directors of the Academy, but he refused to talk about the process followed in this unusual case in the history of the awards.
This is not the first contradictory information that comes from the institution. On Wednesday, he announced that Rubin himself and Hudson had asked Smith to leave the Dolby Theater after the assault on Rock. “He declined,” the statement said.. However, this version was dismissed in local media by some gala attendees, who pointed out that there was no formal or explicit request for the actor to leave his seat..
At Wednesday’s board meeting It was agreed to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith, which provides 15 days for him to defend himself in writing. The decision on the sanction, which could lead to suspension of membership or expulsion from the organization, will be communicated on April 18..
As the days go by, new details come to light about how events unfolded on Oscar night. Will Packer, the producer of the ceremony, assured Thursday in his first interview after what happened that the Los Angeles police were ready to arrest the protagonist of men in black. “It’s an assault,” was the phrase they used at the time. We can go get it. We are ready. They can complainsaid law enforcement officials, Packer said. Hello America, from the ABC network, which broadcast the gala on television. There were no arrests as Rock did not want to report Smith. “They [la policía] Several options were presented to him, but Chris rejected them. He was just saying, “I’m fine, I’m fine,” recalls Packer, who also explained that he asked the presenter to think about what the agents were offering him.
The producer assured hello america that Rock’s joke about Pinkett Smith was not in the script and that he went to the comedian as soon as he left the stage. He asked if the actor really hit him and Rock replied, “Yeah, I just took a hit from Muhammad Ali. He immediately went into prank mode, but you could tell he was still in shock.”.
Parker also assured that at no time during the night did he speak with Smith, which belies reports published in recent days that claim he did. Regarding the Academy’s claim that Smith was asked to leave the gala, the producer explained that they told him they were going to, but he was not part of those conversations. “I went to the Academy leaders who were there and said, ‘Chris Rock doesn’t want this, he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to make a bad situation worse. “”Packer also said Smith contacted him the next morning to apologize.
Rock returned to the stage Wednesday night. At a Boston theater, where he was resuming his stand-up comedy tour, confessed to a standing cheering audience that he was ‘still processing everything that happened’.