Reiterating that the organization’s response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 ceremony was “inadequate,” Academy President Janet Yang said that “we must respond immediately, compassionately and forcefully” on similar incidents in the future.
Yang spoke widely on “their amazing idea” for the 95th iteration of the show during the 2023 Oscars Nominees Luncheon while also discussing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ response to the incident at last year’s awards show.
As I’m sure you all recall, the Oscars saw an extraordinary event, Yang added. “What happened on stage was completely inappropriate, and the organization’s response was insufficient. This taught us that the Academy must operate with complete accountability and transparency, especially during times of crisis.
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For the sake of our industry and ourselves, we must move quickly, compassionately, and decisively. Going forward, you should and can anticipate nothing less from us,” she continued. We pledge to uphold the highest standards while bringing about the improvements we want to see in our sector.
Prior to winning the best actor Oscar in 2022 (Here’s the full list of Oscar Winners), Pinkett Smith came to the stage of the Dolby Theatre to hit comedian Rock after he made an impromptu joke about Pinkett Smith’s baldness while presenting an award. Smith has now resigned from the Academy and apologized numerous times.
According to the Academy, Smith was asked to leave the event but refused. Following several weeks of consideration about how to deal with Smith’s behavior, the actor was given a 10-year appearance ban at their events. “Violence is poisonous and harmful in all of its manifestations.”
I should not have behaved the way I did at the Oscars last night, Smith remarked in an Instagram post at the time.
“I sincerely apologize that my actions have marred what has been for all of us a beautiful adventure.” Smith’s behavior was previously addressed by the Academy, which acknowledged that “we could have handled the matter differently” at one point.
Again, they highlighted that they did not “adequately handle the situation in the room” and labeled Smith’s conduct “inappropriate and destructive behavior.” It concluded, “We fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented — in this opportunity to set an example for our guests, viewers, and our Academy family around the world.
The majority of Yang’s speech was spent discussing how this year’s ceremony will be focused on the “collaborative aspect of cinema.” She stated that
“The Academy strives to be a driver of togetherness for both our artists and the public.”
“I implore us all to concentrate our efforts on preserving the exceptional, brilliant community that we call home.” I want to emphasize the affection and respect we have for both the craft of filmmaking and our other professionals. Because this room and this industry collectively have overwhelming strength, I invite us to develop together.