WILL SMITH AND CHRIS ROCK'S ALTERCATION BOOSTS OSCAR RATINGS
With more than 500,000 boosted viewers on the Oscars, Will Smith single-handedly increased the Oscars' relevancy.
This year's Academy Awards featured a few shocks and unexpected moments, but most people will be satisfied with a slap.
The night's biggest story was when Will Smith got into an argument with Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada. Smith then appeared to slap him in the face before calling him out again.
It overshadowed the entire event, and moments later, Smith won the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard. After the incident, Smith called himself a “vessel of love”. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Rock would not be pressing charges.
Actors Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler have also spoken out in support of Rock. Their support has also helped raise his profile. Meanwhile, the slap had another effect on the Oscars' relevancy.
It wasn't exactly a plan, but the slap by Will Smith boosted the audience of the Academy Awards by over 500,000 viewers. According to a report by the New York Times, the incident had boosted the show's viewership by over 17 million people.
Despite the boost, the slap wasn't the biggest event of the night. The audience got to see Troy Katsur accept his award for Best Supporting Actor in CODA, making him the first deaf male actor to receive it.
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Oscars to imply 'appropriate action' on Smith
Smith apologized to Rock and his wife after the incident. He noted that his slap was triggered by Rock's joke about Jada's illness.
The Academy immediately condemned the incident and sent a letter to its members detailing the steps they would take to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.
According to the Academy, they were outraged by Smith's actions. They also noted that the ceremony was supposed to celebrate the community's achievements.
The letter was signed by Dawn Hudson and David Rubin, the Academy's president, and CEO, respectively. They also stated that the organization's Board of Governors would look into the matter to see if Smith should be punished.
"To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith's actions that transpired Sunday night. As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy's Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith," the letter read. "This must follow an official process that will take a few weeks."
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Reactions to Smith’s slap
According to Anthony Breznican of Vanity Fair, there was confusion about whether or not the slap was real. Rebecca Ford of the magazine noted that some people knew that Smith actually hit Rock because of its sound.
After the slap, Denzel Washington and Smith's publicist approached the actor. However, nobody could see what was happening behind the scenes.
Breznican also noted that a witness claimed that Rock looked like he had been slapped by Muhammad Ali for his cheek was red.
According to the LA Police Department, Rock did not file a report regarding the incident. He then proceeded to attend an after-party organized by Guy Oseary, the manager of Madonna.#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial