[imagesource: Evan Agostini / Invision / AP]
Yes, this is still dominating the news cycle.
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, initially joked about it on Instagram, and then issued the inevitable public apology.
What have we missed? Oh, ‘Ozzy Man’ did a blow-by-blow review of the slap and thousands and thousands of hot-take articles were written approaching the incident from every conceivable angle.
We’ll focus on The Guardian, here, asking whether the Academy could take Smith’s Oscar back.
Good luck with that, but let’s see their reasoning:
The Academy has issued a statement condemning Smith’s actions, announcing it will launch an inquiry to determine further action and consequences. The Academy’s board of governors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The Academy prohibits uninvited physical contact and according to the association’s bylaws, disciplinary action could include “suspension of membership or expulsion from membership”.
Whoopi Goldberg, actor and member of the Academy’s board of governors, said during US talkshow The View on Monday: “We’re not going to take that Oscar from him. There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’ll do.”
A slap on the wrist, if you will, but there’s no way the Academy is going to tell him to return that statue.
In the past, the Oscars have stripped Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby of their membership. The first two names on that list are Oscar winners and neither had that honour taken away.
If Weinstein keeps his, Smith definitely keeps his.
Another member of the Academy, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, further dismissed the idea of taking away that Oscar:
Numerous members with whom THR spoke felt that the organization should at the very least suspend his membership… And almost none felt he should be back at the ceremony next year to carry out the ceremonial tradition whereby the previous year’s best actor presents the best actress award…
“You can’t take the Oscar away. That’s not fair. But do you drop his membership? Maybe. Do you tell him he can’t present on next year’s show? Maybe. Does he care whether or not he’s presenting on the show? I doubt it.”
So he sits at home and watches from the couch. No biggy.
One place Smith might actually take a hit is to his bank account. Earlier this year, Candle Media bought 10% of Westbrook Inc., the production company controlled by the Smiths.
That deal valued the company at $600 million, but that value depends on Smith remaining a Hollywood blockbuster actor.
Should those roles dry up, or if the deal contained a morals clause that allows an out based on certain behaviour, Candle Media could be allowed an exit
But nobody is coming for that Oscar, no matter how much noise people make on social media.
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