Actor Will Smith, who in a fit of rage assaulted comedian and Oscars host Chris Rock on Sunday evening, isn’t doing very well on the optics front, with a growing number of people now calling for his Academy Award for “Best Actor” to be stripped.
According to Fox News, perhaps the most significant call for that level of punitive action has come from none other than Sabrina Williams, the estranged daughter of Richard Williams, who Smith played in the movie that brought him the “Best Actor” trophy.
“So Will Smith got angry, went overboard and assaulted another person. Then you just can’t apologize two minutes later. You lost your mind. Wow,” Williams, 57, reportedly told the U.S. Sun.
“I agree he should be stripped of the Oscar,” Williams added, echoing a growing sentiment that if Smith isn’t going to be charged with a crime like nearly anyone else would, the least that should happen is that he doesn’t get to take home a trophy.
On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it would convene on Wednesday to begin their formal look at Smith’s actions, presumably to determine a course of action to take, as the situation was unprecedented, to say the least.
Some have suggested that the Academy board has no other choice but to take action, as an assault by one actor on another on live television sets a terrible precedent. Others believe that Smith’s star power is simply too powerful to receive anything other than a slap on the wrist.
The aforementioned Williams sister added that she also suffers from alopecia, the same auto-immune disease that caused Jada Pinkett Smith’s balding issues. Williams said she can relate to being embarrassed and uncomfortable about the situation, but added that Smith should have chosen a place off-camera to handle the dispute with Rock’s off-putting joke.
“But it’s not the time or place. If somebody offends you, you let them know in a private setting, ‘Hey, you offended my wife. I did laugh at the joke, but my wife was offended,’” Williams said.
She added: “But just to go on stage in the middle of an event and slap somebody, walk back down, and then yell from your seat. That’s just not appropriate.”
According to a letter sent by the Academy to its members, obtained by Variety, the organization is furious over Smith’s violent outburst against Rock on live television during what should have otherwise been an awards show to celebrate a number of nominees and winners.
“Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year. We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee,” the letter started out.
The Academy’s leadership “strongly condemned” Smith’s actions in the letter, and vowed to reveal a course of action after its meeting scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening.