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Academy announces ‘formal review’ into Will Smith-Chris Rock slapping incident

Associated Press/Chris Pizzello

The group that heads up the Oscars says it “condemns the actions” of Will Smith — who slapped Chris Rock during the televised ceremony — and said it would launch “a formal review” into the stunning incident.

The Monday statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was the strongest the group had offered following the shocking moment during its annual awards show a night earlier.

The “King Richard” star took to the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the group said on Monday.

“We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” it added.

The group had faced a growing backlash for not doing more to address the altercation both on its broadcast and in the immediate aftermath.

A Sunday night tweet from the academy stated that it didn’t “condone violence of any form.”

But critics had slammed the 94th annual awards gala for allowing Smith to take to the stage again just minutes after the incident to accept his best actor trophy.

During his acceptance speech, the 53-year-old performer apologized to his fellow nominees in the category as well as the academy but didn’t express any words of regret toward Rock.

Updated at 6:31 p.m.

Tags Academy Awards Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Chris Rock Jada Pinkett Smith Oscars oscars slap Oscars smack Will Smith

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