Film Academy President: Reaction to Will Smith’s slapping ‘wasn’t enough’

The Academy was criticized for allowing Smith to stay and receive an award after he attacked Rock

Reaction to Will Smith slapping

The president of Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday at a gathering of nominees for this year’s Oscars that the academy’s response to Will Smith’s slapping of award ceremony host Chris Rock in March was not enough.

The Academy faced significant backlash for allowing Smith to occupy his seat and collect the Best Actor award after he launched a verbal assault against Rock.

Will Smith at the Oscars – (Reuters archive)

“What happened on stage is totally unacceptable,” said Academy President Janet Yang during a luncheon at the annual Oscar nominees’ party in Beverly Hills. “The response from the organization was insufficient.”

From this experience, we realized the Academy must be fully open and responsible for our decisions, particularly during times of difficulty,” she continued.

After the event, Smith stepped down from his post at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was barred for a decade from attending award ceremonies; yet he is still entitled to compete for, as well as receive wins in any awards given by them.

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