In his teary Best Actor acceptance speech at the 2022 Oscars, King Richard star Will Smith said, “To do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse. You gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that’s OK.” But Smith was not reacting that way when he smacked presenter Chris Rock during the live telecast for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
It was the most shocking Oscars moment since the Moonlight vs. La La Land incident (and maybe ever), and there will be plenty of hot takes in the days to come. But Rock has reportedly threatened to decline a police report against Smith, according to Variety.
A full statement from the Los Angeles Police Department reads: “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
A “highly placed Hollywood source” told the New York Post that while it’s extremely unlikely that Smith will be forced to return his Oscar for breaking the Academy’s conduct code, they added, “It’s basically assault. Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable… Who knows what will happen now.” Smith was seen dancing at the Vanity Fair Oscar party following his win (and the slap).
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) March 28, 2022