The Academy is weighing in on Will Smith and Chris Rock's headline-making Oscars altercation.
During the March 27 award show, the King Richard actor got up from his seat and slapped the comedian after Chris made a joke about Will's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, all right?" Chris said from the stage as Jada, who has been open about her alopecia diagnosis, and Will watched from the front row. After Will confronted Chris onstage, he told him, "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth!"
Hours later, the Academy took to social media to address the incident. "The Academy does not condone violence of any form," the Twitter statement, posted early March 28, read. "Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."
The award show moment, which left viewers around the world stunned, instantly went viral online, even leading some to speculate that it had been planned. However, amid speculation, Variety's executive editor Ramin Setoodeh tweeted, "Someone who works for the Oscars told me that Chris Rock was not interrupted by Will Smith at rehearsals yesterday. It was not supposed to happen. It was real."
Later on during the telecast, a tearful Will apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees after being awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus Williams and Serena Williams' father, Richard Williams.
"This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award," he said in part, "it's not about winning an award for me."
"Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father," Will, who shares kids Jaden Smith and Willow Smith with Jada and son Trey Smith with ex Sheree Zampino, added. "Love will make you do crazy things."
"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," Will noted. "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. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis who is one the most strongest, most delicate people I've ever met. I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses that play Venus and Serena...I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people."
Concluding his speech, Will told the audience that he wants to "be a vessel of love."
Chris, who has a history with the Smiths at the Oscars, has yet to publicly address the incident.