Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock, Wins Oscar; Charges Not Pressed: Update

Before we get into the only thing that folks are talking about this morning, here's a quick reminder that CODA and Apple TV+ made history last night, with the former winning the Academy Award for "Best Picture" and the latter being the first streaming service to be able to claim that honor for bragging rights. Okay, now back to "The Slap That Launched 1000 Memes"… "The Slap That Now Replaces the Batman & Robin Slap Meme." So we're pretty sure by now that you've heard that the only "entertaining" part of ABC's broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards was when Best Actor nominee Will Smith (King Richard) slapped the taste out of presenter Chris Rock's mouth. Based on the video below, it seems Smith found Rock's jokes referencing his wife Jada Pinkett Smith funny at first ("Jada, I love you, 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it"). But clearly the tone around Smith's table changed, with Smith taking the stage to slap Rock across the face as the two continued to have an exchange, with Smith saying loudly on several occasions, "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth." Okay, now let's get to some more details…

will smith
Image: Screencap

During the commercial break, Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry, and Smith's publicist can be seen speaking with Smith. Following the incident, Sean Combs made an effort from the stage to diffuse the situation.

Smith would go on to win the Oscar for his performance in King Richard, where he would apologize to The Academy and the audience- but not to Rock:

After winning his award and leaving the stage, Smith did take part in the press tent to make a statement or answer questions. In addition, it appears Smith did not attend the Governors Ball that immediately follows the ceremony. But it seems he did attend at least one post-Oscars event (more on that in a minute).

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock, Wins Oscar; Charges Not Pressed: Update
Image: ABC News

As for talk of charges being pressed, that's apparently not going to happen. The Los Angeles Police Department issued the following statement: "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." If Rock had filed charges and Smith was charged with misdemeanor assault, the Oscar-winning actor could be staring down up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 (in California, Rock has up to six months to file a report).

As you can see from the tweet above, The Academy had its own lukewarm position on the matter to share with the public: "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."

As we alluded to earlier, Smith, Pinkett Smith, and family Willow, Jaden & Trey did attend the Vanity Fair event where moods apparently were much more positive (including a dance circle around Smith as "Gettin Jiggy Wit It" played).

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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