BAFTA execs spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, sharing their thoughts on Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock. Sara Putt, deputy chair of BAFTA, said “They would be removed from the building”, adding, “They would not be in the buildings, so they would not physically be able to collect their award”, and concluded, “It’s just a complete red line for us”.
BAFTA’s executive director Emma Baehr clarified “We do not tolerate violence of any kind”.
The comments come at a time when the Academy has condemned Smith’s actions and launched a former investigation. They have firmly asserted that the Academy does not condone any form of violence. The ‘King Richard‘ actor, a role for which he won the Best Actor Oscar, has apologized to Rock who has also not filed a complaint against him.
The comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, saying she should be in the next ‘GI Jane’ movie. Rock was referring to Pinkett Smith’s close shaved hair, which he found to be similar to ‘GI Jane’ protagonist Demi Moore’s. Notably, Smith’s wife struggles with alopecia, a condition resulting in massive hair loss.
This is not the first time Will Smith has lost his temper in public. In 2012, Smith slapped a reporter who tried to kiss him at the premiere of ‘Men in Black 3’. Prior to that, he had charges of assault filed against him but was not convicted of the same. This was during Smith’s music career when he allegedly had his record promoter beaten up.