Will Smith could lose his Best Actor Oscar for slapping Chris Rock

will smith oscars 2022 may have to return best actor award
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Will Smith may have to return his Best Actor Award after slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscar Awards, according to a new report.

The New York Post has quoted Hollywood insiders who have warned that Smith’s altercation may be a violation of the Academy Awards’ code of conduct. “It’s basically assault,” a source told the Post.

“Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable. I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now.”

A Hollywood insider, as quoted by the New York Post

Back in 2017, the Oscars organizers approved a new code of conduct following the #MeToo Movement and the sexual assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Oscar CEO Dawn Hudson released a statement, saying that all 8,000-plus members need to abide to the new guidelines and that membership to the academy is a “privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers”.

Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers. In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity. The Academy asks that members embrace their responsibility to affirm these principles and act when these principles are violated. There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.

Academy Awards Code of Conduct

The Academy has released a statement on Twitter after the event concluded, saying that they do not condone violence in any form. The Academy, however, did not reference the incident.

Smith briefly apologized during his Best Actor acceptance speech for his role in King Richard, although it remains to be seen whether that will be enough for the Academy.