On Monday, during the 2023 Oscars nominee luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy of Motions Pictures Arts and Sciences admitted that its handling of the infamous Will Smith slap at last year's awards was "inadequate."
Current president Janet Yang stated that the Academy had learned from its mistakes, and would strive to do better should similar events take place in the future.
"I'm sure you all remember we experienced an unprecedented event at the Oscars," Yang told the luncheon attendees, according to Variety. "What happened onstage was fully unacceptable and the response from our organization was inadequate."
"We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions," she continued, adding that, "particularly in times of crisis you must act swiftly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less form us going forward."
Yang's message built on the statement the Academy released following the Oscars in April 2022 where they admitted that, "during our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room."
"For this, we are sorry," the Academy wrote. "This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented."
The slap caught everyone off guard, not least the recipient, host Chris Rock, whose joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's baldness caused Smith to walk on stage and deliver the blow.
Following the incident, Smith was banned from the Oscars for ten years. He later resigned from the Academy in disgrace, and apologized to Rock, who said he had moved on.
"Everybody is trying to be a f*cking victim," Rock said at a show in the summer. "If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith ... I went to work the next day, I got kids."
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