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Will Smith’s Oscars slap one year later: Academy Awards boss slams response 

Will Smith hit Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith 

will smith tears oscars© Photo: Getty Images
February 14, 2023
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The now-infamous incident where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars saw the actor receive a ten-year ban from any Academy Award events - but didn’t stop him from accepting the accolade for Best Actor on the night, after which he received a standing ovation from the audience. Reflecting on the situation, the president of the Academy criticised their institution’s response, calling it "inadequate". 

Janet Yang spoke about the situation at the annual Oscars Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel in LA on Monday, explaining: "I’m sure you all remember, we experienced an unprecedented event at the Oscars. What happened on stage was fully unacceptable and the response from our organisation was inadequate.

WATCH: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

"We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions, and particularly in times of crisis we must act swiftly and compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward." 

The Fresh Prince actor reflected on the situation in an interview with Trevor Noah back in November, saying: "There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just - I lost it, you know? I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behaviour at all… It was a lot of things.

chris being slapped will© Photo: Getty Images

Will apologised for slapping Chris

"It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be. I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time."

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In a statement released in July 2022, he said he’d tried to get in touch with Chris Rock, explaining: "I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he's not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out," he said to the camera. So I will say to you Chris. I apologize to you. My behaviour was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

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