The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reviewing the incident involving Will Smith at Sunday night's Oscars ceremony and considering revoking his Academy Award.
In a stunning scene, Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's short haircut, which she has attributed to alopecia. Smith then returned to his seat and yelled at a flustered Rock, who later declined to press charges.
After the incident, Smith won Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, in King Richard. Still in attendance, he apologized to the Academy and other nominees (but not to Rock) in an emotional acceptance speech.
According to Ellen Gamerman of the Wall Street Journal, the Academy indicated it has the authority to revoke an award after the fact. Yet Variety's Brett Lang said Smith is more likely to face a sanction than give up his prize.
On Monday, the Academy released a statement denouncing Smith's action and calling for a further investigation.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
It's unclear exactly what the Academy is reviewing, as the event unfolded on live TV and has since been viewed and discussed by millions of more people on social media.
The Academy released an updated conduct code in 2017, but it has yet to strip a winner of an award.