The Academy 'unlikely' to 'weaponize' Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and strip him of Oscar, expert believes

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Will Smith took home the Oscar for best actor shortly after he slapped presenter Chris Rock across the face.

The move by the 53-year-old actor left viewers stunned and the lack of acknowledgement by the Academy confused many. By Monday afternoon, the Academy had condemned Smith’s actions and announced a formal review of the incident had been launched.

Prior to that, the Academy released a short statement hours after the event concluded saying it doesn’t “condone violence of any form.”

So, what happens to Smith’s Oscar for best picture?

ACADEMY CONDEMNS WILL SMITH’S ACTIONS, LAUNCHING FORMAL REVIEW OF CHRIS ROCK SLAP

The Academy has condoned Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and launched a formal review of the incident.

The Academy has condoned Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and launched a formal review of the incident. (BACKGRID)

ACADEMY’S ‘STANDARD OF CONDUCT’

The Academy Awards released a “Standards of Conduct” for members in 2017, although it doesn’t make direct mention of physical violence, according to Variety.

“Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers,” the “Standards of Conduct” reads. “In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.”

The Academy then released instructions for members to report claims of workplace misconduct in 2018, according to Deadline.

“The Academy’s goal is not to be an investigative body, but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process,” the Academy’s CEO Dawn Hudson said at the time. “The process will determine whether a claim will be brought to the Board for possible action regarding membership status.”

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the 2022 Oscars.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the 2022 Oscars. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

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‘PUBLIC PRESSURE?’

Despite the Academy’s decision to launch a formal review of the incident, brand expert Eric Schiffer doesn’t think the physical act of violence will affect Smith’s Oscar win.

“Will Smith’s spontaneous combustion won’t decapitate his Oscar win,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital. “The Academy won’t see Smith’s unhinged moment of anger and assault as an Oscar extinction-level act.”

The brand expert further noted that the Academy’s decision to condone Smith’s slap was likely due to “public pressure.”

“The Academy feels public pressure to take a stand and admonish Smith unhinged act but is unlikely to weaponize a violation of their own rules and arrest Smith’s Oscar and win.”

‘SHOULD HAVE WALKED SMITH OUT OF THE THEATER’

Schiffer further criticized the Academy for not escorting Smith out of the ceremony following the outburst.

“The Academy says it does not condone violence, but if that’s the case, they should have walked Smith out of the theater and rescinded his award for breaking Academy rules,” Schiffer said. “But, their actions suggest a difference between the rich and famous and everyone else.”

The Academy did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Smith stormed the Oscars stage Sunday night after Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s balding head. The comedian had said he can’t wait to see her in “G.I. Jane 2.” Pinkett Smith has been struggling with alopecia and has spoken about the condition publicly.

Smith was in tears during his acceptance speech for best actor and took the time to apologize to the Academy and his fellow nominees. He did not mention Rock during the speech. 

Smith was in tears during his acceptance speech for best actor and took the time to apologize to the Academy and his fellow nominees. He did not mention Rock during the speech.  (Foto AP/Chris Pizzello)

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Following the slap, Rock told the crowd, “Oh wow, Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.”

“Leave my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth,” Smith yelled back in response.

The incident ended with Rock saying he would not joke about Pinkett Smith again.

Representatives for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock have not responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

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