(NEW YORK POST) – The inquiry into Will Smith’s center stage smackdown of Chris Rock at the Oscars will take a few weeks to complete, leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said Tuesday, as they expressed “outraged” over the actor’s behavior.
“Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year,” the president and CEO of the Academy said in a letter to members obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee,” the letter read.
The AMPAs on Monday announced they had launched a “formal review” of the viral incident after its board of governors convened an emergency phone call to discuss the situation.
In the Tuesday letter, signed by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, they said the official process to determine any consequences for Smith, 53, would take a “few weeks.”
“As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith,” the letter said.
The review could determine if Smith violated the Academy’s 2017 code of conduct when he stormed the stage and smacked Chris Rock before returning to his seat to scream profanity at the presenter, who had made a crack about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s baldness.
The behavioral guidelines implemented following the #MeToo movement emphasized the importance of “upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.”
After the meltdown, Smith received a standing ovation while accepting a Best Actor Oscar for his star turn in the tennis drama “King Richard.”
A former LA top prosecutor told The Post Monday the “Ali” actor “could” and “should” face criminal charges in connection with the nationally televised assault, even though Rock declined to press any.
“The victim does not control whether or not a prosecutor should file charges,” said Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County District Attorney from 2000 to 2012.
“However, charges actually can and should be filed because the offense was against the state of California. It’s not Chris Rock versus Will Smith in a criminal matter. The LAPD and the city attorney should not close the door on what was an obvious criminal offense and is easily provable.”