Lebanese TV presenter Raya Abirached commented on the infamous slap by American star and Oscar winner Will Smith to comedian and Oscars host Chris Rock.
“For three minutes, we all thought that what happened was part of the show, and an agreed-upon scenario between Will Smith and Chris Rock, but the features of anger on Will Smith’s face confirmed that it was an act of the moment”, Abirached explained.
“Yet we did not understand what happened, especially since Will Smith went on stage after that to receive the Oscar,” she added.
When asked wherter the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might withdraw the Oscar award from Smith, Abirached said in a phone call with the presenter Amr Adib during the “Al-Hekaya” program that: “The Academy announced today the opening of an investigation into the incident, to study whether Will Smith’s behavior was against its laws the laws of the television station broadcasting the ceremony.”
Penalties may include withdrawing the award, or canceling his membership with the Academy, in addition to many other penalties, depending on the results of investigations, she added.
Abirached criticized both parties, saying Rock should not have mocked Jada Smith’s hair condition – although he is a comedian whose job is to find the joke, and in this case it was not a good joke.
“Smith’s reaction was not balanced and I think he will regret it,” she said
“Will Smith is a big star with great popularity, and if we accept what he did, it will be tantamount to promoting violence, and he and his wife have been talking for a while about their private lives, and someone may imagine that they have the right to interfere in their lives, and I think that is one of the reasons for what happened at the party. Also, Chris was left confused while presenting the award for best documentary, and he was unable to read the text written in front of him,” she said.
Smith apologized to co-host of the 94th Academy Awards, Chris Rock, after he slapped him on his the face on the Oscars stage, on Monday evening.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith said in the statement.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he wrote.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, to the producers of the show, to everyone in attendance and everyone who watched it around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams family and my (production) King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behavior has tarnished what has been a wonderful journey for all of us.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences commented on the incident saying: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show.”
“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,” a statement from the academy said Monday.