After last night’s violent incident at the Academy Awards between Will Smith and Chris Rock, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences attempted to call out the violence, while distancing themselves from taking any action on the altercation.
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.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
Talk about failing to read the room… or their replies. Smith’s foolish and over-the-top choice pretty much ruined the celebration for many; especially those newly initiated into the rare air of the Academy, like Questove, the winner of the Best Documentary Feature Oscar for Summer of Soul, that the “slap heard round the world” helped to disrupt. Also CODA first-time winners Troy Kotsur (for Best Supporting Actor), and Sian Heder (for Best Adapted Screenplay).
As one commentator so aptly put it:
You don't? One member struck another member. Then you let the assailant sit there for 90 mins as the center of attention. No one made any condemning remarks. And then you gave him an award and a standing ovation. Where was the not condoning part?
— Peter Schink (@PeterRSchink) March 28, 2022
Writer-director Marshall Herskovitz took to Twitter and called for disciplinary action.
I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith. He disgraced our entire community tonight.
— Marshall Herskovitz (@MHerskovitz) March 28, 2022
And Whoopi Goldberg, who is not only an Academy member, but part of the governing body, said on Monday’s The View that, “We’re not going to take that Oscar from him. There will be consequences, I’m sure.”
No doubt other members weighed in privately, so this afternoon, The Academy changed its tone, and released this new information:
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences says it condemns the actions of Will Smith during Sunday night’s Oscars and it will launch a formal review of his slapping of presenter Chris Rock.
In a statement Monday, the film academy said it will also “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
Yeah. Sure, Jan.
Herskovitz got this part wrong. Will Smith did not disgrace their entire community. The Academy community has been disgraceful and been tolerating worse than a pimp slap and swear words being exchanged for decades. Most of those people are still a part of the Academy. Anybody heard anything about disciplining Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey?
It’s an open secret, and so is the Academy’s blanket disregard of bad behavior.
From reports, the last person that was publicly disciplined by the Academy was Harvey Weinstein, mostly because he had ceased being a cash cow, and was a PR nightmare to them.
In October of 2017, they expelled the serial predator and abuser from their ranks after 19 years of threats, boorish behavior toward actresses and others, and silenced witnesses.
Would this have happened had it not been for the whole #MeToo movement and prevailing winds of change in our culture? Doubtful.
And the last time I checked, Woody Allen is still a member of the Academy. This supposedly principled body has slathered after him for decades, issuing Oscar after Oscar, even though Allen has publicly and privately sneered at them. Allen has been famously accused by his ex-paramour Mia Farrow and their adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of molestation. The theme of a majority of his movies center around romances between young, bright-eyed ingenues and awkward middle-aged men. Under life imitating art (or is it art imitating life?), Allen started an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, another adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, reportedly when Previn was in high school, and Allen was in his mid-forties.
The Academy may not condone violence, but it certainly turns a blind eye to the sexually deviant.
These are also the same geniuses that gave a standing ovation to director Roman Polanski at the 2012 Academy Awards for his Best Director win. Why was Polanski absent? Because he had absconded the country in 1978 to avoid rape charges and was too afraid to step foot back in the U.S.
From the New York Post:
Polanski, 88, won the Oscar for Best Director in 2003 for his work on “The Pianist.” However, he didn’t attend the ceremony because he fled the US in 1978 following a rape charge. Harrison Ford accepted the award on Polanksi’s behalf and the filmmaker received a standing ovation.
Goldberg weighed in on this one too, saying on The View back in 2012 that what Polanski did really wasn’t, “rape rape.”
So, if Whoopi Goldberg is an example of The Academy Board of Governors and its viewpoints, expect Will Smith to get a slap on the wrist about as substantial as that slap in the face he gave Chris Rock.
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