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What the Oscars code of conduct says about Will Smith


After the scandal at the 2022 Oscars ceremony in which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and giving a few choice words while doing so, the internet seems to have been set ablaze.

Will Smith jumped onstage, smacked Rock, and returned to his seat screaming: “Leave my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” after which he went on to win Best Actor at the awards ceremony. 

As Smith accepted the award, he acknowledged his behaviour, stating: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.”

Although Rock decided not to press charges, a statement from the academy said they would “explore further action and consequences” in accordance with California law, and the body’s standards of conduct. Although it’s unclear exactly what’s to come, there are rumours that this code of conduct could lead to Smith losing his award.

This raises a variety of questions and concerns, as figures like Roman Polanski and other questionable individuals have been privileged to keep their awards, or even been presented with them after allegations of repeated violence and abuse were made. 

Although it’s unlikely that they’ll revoke his award, the idea of calling it into question brings up a variety of other questions and the history of the awards in general. Although it’s clear that violence is never the answer, this simply serves to illustrate just how frequent these issues are in Hollywood.