The Academy Launches Investigation, 'Condemns' Will Smith's Slap And Says It Will 'Explore Further Action' In New Statement
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The Academy Launches Investigation, 'Condemns' Will Smith's Slap And Says It Will 'Explore Further Action' In New Statement

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.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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