In the immediate aftermath of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on the stage of the Dolby Theatre at the 94th Oscars, the Academy released a curiously-worded statement.

“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” they tweeted from their official account. “Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and move lovers around the world.”

It’s pretty indicative of the madness of the world we are living in that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences needs to put out a public statement condemning violence. But it’s even more surreal that their official statement insisted that they wanted the night to be about celebrating their Oscar winners — which includes the guy who committed the violence they were going out of their way to condemn.

Rock himself declined to press charges about the incident, but now the Academy has announced that they will be conducting their own “formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.” According to the Academy’s bylaws “any member of the Academy may be suspended or expelled for cause by the Board of Governors.” After Harvey Weinstein was expelled from the Academy in 2017, the organization created a code of conduct that members were expected to abide by under penalty of losing their membership. Presumably suspension or expulsion from the Academy would therefore be theoretically possible in Smith’s case, depending on the outcome of the review.

Whether or not the Academy has the power to take back Smith’s Oscar is murkier; and it seems even more unlikely to me even if they could they would. But we’ll see what the Academy decides when the results of their review are eventually announced.

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