Home » Motion Pictures Academy head rips response to Will Smith’s slap

Motion Pictures Academy head rips response to Will Smith’s slap

by The Grio

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The slap sat front and center at Monday’s Oscar nominees luncheon.

So much so that motion picture academy president Janet Yangneither had to describe it nor say the names Will Smith or Chris Rock for the ballroom full of award hopefuls to know what she was talking about when she aired her regrets.

“I’m sure you all remember we experienced an unprecedented event at the Oscars,” Yang told a crowd that included Tom Cruise, Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett and Steven Spielberg during her opening remarks. “What happened onstage was wholly unacceptable and the response from our organization was inadequate.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did little in response to Smith storming the stage and slapping Rock during last year’s Oscars telecast or in the immediate aftermath. It was nearly two weeks before its board of governors voted to ban Smith from the Oscars and all other academy events for 10 years. Smith had already preemptively resigned as an academy member.

“We learned from this that the academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions,” Yang said, “and particularly in times of crisis you must act swiftly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less form us going forward.”

Yang, who was not president at the time, was interrupted by a mild round of applause, and did not elaborate further, moving on to happier topics.

She was met with whooping applause when told the nominees that all categories will be shown live on the March 12 ABC telecast. Last year, in a controversy largely eclipsed by the slap, several Oscars were handed out in a pre-telecast ceremony and edited versions of winners’ speeches were squeezed into the main show.

The luncheon is a warm, feel-good affair where nominees are in general treated with equality, and a relative…

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