Will Smith was almost kicked out of the Oscars.
According to a new report from CNN, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences leadership “strongly considered” removing the King Richard star from Sunday’s ceremony after he slapped Chris Rock.
“Academy leadership strongly considered removing Will Smith from last night’s broadcast following the incident,” said a source. “There were immediate discussions but the Academy decision makers were seated in various spots in the Dolby Theater and couldn’t mobilize to make a decision before he won Best Actor.”
Smith went on to win his first Oscar moments after slapping Rock following the comedian’s joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. He apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his emotional acceptance speech.
At least a dozen members of the Academy met virtually on Monday morning to discuss a response to the slap. They did not reach an agreement during the meeting, which was described as “heated” and “divided.”
Following the awards, the Oscars addressed the incident in a tweeted statement: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. 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.”
A formal review is now underway, according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, it’s unclear what repercussions, if any, Smith will face.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” said the Academy. “We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
During the Vanity Fair Oscar after-party, Diddy told Page Six that Smith and Rock had settled their issues and that it was “all love.” However, TMZ says that the two have not spoken since the slap. Rock reportedly went to his dressing room after the incident and there has been no communication between the two men.