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Will Smith’s breakthrough Oscar achievement is overshadowed by his altercation with Chris Rock.
Before winning his first Oscar, the actor took the stage and punched Rock after the presenter made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that he didn’t agree with.
While the 53-year-old issued a tearful apology after his win and later released a personal statement addressed to the comic on Monday, an Academy member said there was no going back. back.
“He is viewed with immense respect,” the insider told People magazine on Tuesday. “He worked hard, and he made himself the champion [the film ‘King Richard’], which is an extraordinary story and its interpretation is worthy of an Oscar. But that taints everything. And that’s a shame. He should have shown more restraint.”
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“To see that display of demeanor on the world stage and in the moment is what he will be remembered for,” the source added.
The insider admitted that Rock’s joke about Pinkett Smith having a hairstyle reminiscent of ‘GI Jane’ was ‘hurtful’, especially since the actress has openly spoken about alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. hair. Still, the source told the outlet, “I just wish Will had caught his breath and exercised restraint,” noting that his behavior “crossed the line.”
“You have two extraordinary black performers who have each reached the top of their respected fields, and being cut at this time doesn’t bode well for either of them,” the source explained. “It could have gotten uglier, but Chris didn’t. [go there].”
“The first thing we teach our children is to use your words, not your hands, and it was a brutal display of unbridled anger. And there was no excuse for it,” the member explained. ‘Academy. “It tarnished him.”
The drama unfolded during the televised ceremony when Rock, 57, took aim at Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
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“Jada, I love you. ‘GI Jane 2’, I can’t wait to see it, okay?” the comic joked, referring to the 1997 film starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy SEAL candidate.
Pinkett Smith, 50, revealed in 2018 that she had been diagnosed with alopecia and has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The joke missed, badly.
Smith took the stage from his front row seat and swung Rock with an open palm, generating a loud slap. Smith returned to his seat and yelled at Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “GI Jane” joke – and Smith yelled at him a second time.
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Smith yelled at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”, and the crowd fell silent when it became clear it wasn’t an act.
The moment shocked audiences at the Dolby Theater and viewers at home. At the commercial break, anchor Daniel Kaluuya came to hug Smith and Denzel Washington escorted him to the side of the stage. The two talked and hugged and Tyler Perry also came over to talk.
Smith shared what Washington told him, “At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.”
“I hope the Academy invites me back,” Smith said as he concluded his onstage remarks.
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After the show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement saying it “does not condone any form of violence.”
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement it was aware of the incident.
“The incident involved one individual slapping another,” the statement said. “The person involved has declined to file a police report. If the affected party wants a police report at a later date, the LAPD will be available to complete an investigation report.”
Spokespersons for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
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On Monday, Smith posted an apology on Instagram, saying he was “out of place” and that his actions “are not indicative of the man I want to be.”
“Violence in any form is toxic and destructive,” Smith wrote. “My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of place and wrong. I’m embarrassed and my actions weren’t indicative of the man I want to be. There’s no room for violence in a world of love and kindness.
The star has apologized to the film academy, broadcast producers, participants, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored on Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.
“I’m a work in progress,” Smith added.
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After calling a meeting of the board of governors on Monday to discuss the incident, the film academy said it had reviewed Smith’s actions and “will explore further actions and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law”.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.