Oscars In 'Crisis Mode'! Allegedly Held Top Secret Talks About Stripping Will Smith Of Best Actor Win!March 28, 2022
The Oscars telecast on Sunday night was dominated by a completely unexpected (and unprecedented) event, and now, the aftermath is really falling into place.
Of course, as we’ve been reporting on, actor Will Smith shocked the Oscars audience by slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage during the live TV broadcast after Rock made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. Jada has been very open about suffering from hair loss related to alopecia — and Rock’s icky line about expecting to see her in G.I. Jane 2 clearly did not sit well with the Smith fam.
Now, as the dust settles following Sunday night’s unbelievable “slap seen around the world,” we are learning more about what apparently went down behind the scenes in the immediate aftermath of Will’s surprising on-stage smack.
First, an industry source spilling to People made it clear this was NOT staged by the show’s producers — everything backstage afterward was absolute chaos!
“Behind the scenes there were a lot of people, and different voices and bifurcated opinions, weighing in on what had just happened and what was the best and quickest course of action. People were also checking that Chris Rock was okay.”
The source continued:
“Basically there were just minutes to first figure out if it was a stunt and then try and get people on the same page — including the producers, ABC, the Academy, reps who were not all in the same place or all looking at their phones in real time, and even to see if Chris wanted to press charges.”
We now know from a police statement that Chris chose not to press charges. But at the time it was unclear what the correct course of action was. Even “having Will removed was definitely discussed seriously,” says the insider! Wow!
“You can’t plan for something like this and make a split-second decision that needs everyone’s buy-in, and in any iteration that would have consequences.”
So they chose to wait it out and do nothing, basically. What are the consequences of that decision?
Speaking to The Sun early on Monday morning, another insider close to show bosses at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claims the org is in turmoil following the show. In a series of bombshell allegations, the source told the outlet that Academy leaders went into “full crisis” mode following the slap (below):
“The Academy publicly condemned Will slapping Chris and behind the scenes they went into full crisis mode. Once the ceremony was over the called in key members to hold an emergency meeting about what action they should take.”
And it’s not just that the Academy is concerned about inadvertently showing such an unexpected violent act on live TV. Per the insider, show execs are reportedly struggling with what to do now in response to the slap.
Allegedly, some Academy members are even going so far as to demand that Smith ought to be stripped of the award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard, which he also received on Sunday night:
“There have been calls to have Will stripped of his Best Actor gong. They cannot be seen to be condoning violence in any way and there are some people in the Academy who believe they should remove the award from him to make a point. Others however believe he should be allowed to hold onto it.”
Beyond just the possible consequences facing the Independence Day star, the source alleged that the Academy is apparently very focused on Chris’ well-being throughout this whole situation, too.
Reporting that the comedian has been offered “a package of after care,” the source explained:
“Chris was immediately supported backstage and has been offered a package of after care where he can talk to professionals provided by the academy if needed. The Academy are taking this incredibly seriously.”
Honestly, that’s probably smart. While we’ve heard the two have already made peace, you just never know — especially with something SO public like Sunday night’s incident.
BTW, very late on Sunday night, the Academy took to Twitter to share an official statement about the situation (below), and it would seem to coincide with this new report about just how seriously the org is taking this:
Regardless of whether or not Will has his Best Actor award stripped (or whether he deserves to have it taken away), it’s clear that even he knew in the aftermath of the slap that it was time to walk things back.
Speaking on stage after accepting the award in the hours after slapping Chris, the Men In Black star got tears in his eyes while apologizing to the Academy for the incident. In his acceptance speech, Smith referenced the event, while also sharing a line he says Denzel Washington said to him after the on-stage scuffle:
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like what they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things. … At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
Obviously, emotions were running very high throughout the night.
What do U make of this report about the Academy supposedly considering whether to strip Smith of his Oscar, Perezcious readers?
Should he be forced to hand in the award? Does it set a bad precedent — or appear to condone bad behavior? Or is the slap separate from the award acceptance?
Sound OFF with your thoughts on the matter down in the comments (below)…
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