The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have issued an official statement on the slap incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock and say they’ll investigate and “explore further action.”
Shadow and Act has received the statement from the Academy, in which it states that Smith’s actions are against Academy standards.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” stated the organization.
The Academy also outlined their bylaws and standards of conduct, writing in part:
“There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of its values.”
The bylaws also explain how members should behave. To quote the bylaws:
Academy members should exhibit appropriate professional conduct in their interactions with all individuals whom they encounter in connection with their professional roles, including colleagues, production staff, and others in the film community. Unacceptable conduct includes but is not limited to:
• Discrimination against an individual or harassment on the basis of an individual’s race, age, religion, creed, color, ancestry, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, disability, military or veteran status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal law.
• Physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome, or coercive sexual attention;
• Intimidation, stalking, abusive or threatening behavior, or bullying;
• Retaliation against individuals who raise conduct concerns or who reject or resist unwanted sexual attention or requests.
If any member is found by the Academy to have violated these standards or to have compromised the integrity of the Academy by their actions—whether in a professional or non- professional setting—the Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership.
The Academy states that whether or not an incident is reported to its committee, the Academy reserves the right to address infringement on its rules how it sees fit, including "suspension of membership or expulsion from membership."
Other punishments include “private reprimand, public reprimand, temporary or permanent loss of privileges to attend and participate in Academy events or activities, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to receive or hold or revocation of Academy awards or honors, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to hold Academy service and volunteer roles, or other sanctions that the Academy in its sole discretion may deem appropriate.”
The chances that Smith could have his Oscar revoked or be expelled from the Academy seems hard to believe, but with the Academy opening up an investigation, perhaps we will learn more about what happened between Smith and Rock.