In the wake of Will Smith’s infamous slap at the 94th Academy Awards, producers of the upcoming Tony Awards warned attendees that a “strict no violence policy” had been instated at the 75th annual awards ceremony.
As reported by NBC News, a letter sent by Tony Award Productions to attendees of the ceremony in June clearly stated its stance on violent outbursts. “In the event of an incident, the perpetrator will be removed from the event immediately,” the letter read, along with a list of other rules for the ceremony, including the dress code and the event’s COVID-19 policy.
While presenting at the 2022 Oscars, comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, wherein he said, “Jada, I love you– G.I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about her struggles with alopecia and Smith, in response to the joke, shocked the audience — and Rock — by walking on stage and slapping the comedian across the face. Smith was later awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
In the days following the ceremony, Smith issued a formal apology for the slap, which he called “unacceptable and inexcusable,” and apologized to Rock directly. The Academy went on to launch a formal review in response to the slap, saying in a statement that it “condemns the actions of Mr. Smith” at the ceremony. After an enormous amount of backlash, Smith officially resigned from the Academy. Later, Smith was officially banned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from the Oscars, and any of its other events, for the next decade.
Rock addressed the slap during a sold-out stand-up show in Boston during his ongoing Ego Death World Tour. “I’m still kind of processing what happened,” the comedian told the audience. “So, at some point, I’ll talk about that sh-t. And it will be serious and funny.” Many of Hollywood’s elite have come to Rock’s defense, including Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, comedian Kathy Griffin, actor Sophia Bush, director Judd Apatow, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler.
The slap has also affected Smith’s future projects, such as his Netflix film Fast and Loose and Bad Boys 4, both of which have been put on “pause” since the Oscars. The incident may also affect projects produced through Smith’s production company, Westbrook. Westbrook was founded in 2019 by Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and co-produced King Richard, as well as Netflix’s Cobra Kai, Peacock’s Bel-Air and Pinkett Smith’s talk show, Red Table Talk.
The 75th annual Tony Awards will take place at Radio City Music Hall on June 12.
Source: NBC News
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