“It’s basically assault. Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable,” an anonymous source told The New York Post.
“I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now,” the source added.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which was responsible for giving out awards at the event on Sunday, has stringent guidelines mentioned in its code of conduct.
Released in 2017, the code of conduct aims to uphold “the Academy’s values, like inclusion, fostering supportive environments, and “respect for human dignity.”
At the time, AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson wrote in a statement: “Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers.”
“In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity,” the statement read, according to a report by Variety.
“There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values,” Hudson had added.
On the other hand, according to law, Smith’s slap could be in the clear.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” an LAPD official told The Post.
“The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the rep added.