After what was expected to be a regular Academy Awards showcase, the commentary after the show focused on the aftermath of the actions of actor Will Smith who struck comedian Chris Rock in the face during the televised event.
Instead of everyone hailing him for taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor for portraying Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, people have been talking about the slap to the face of Rock. Now, Williams has made a statement regarding the unfortunate incident.
According to NBC News, the man responsible for training and guiding the Willaims sister to their success in tennis has commented on Smith’s actions.
“We don’t know all the details of what happened,” Williams stated through his son Chavoita LeSane. “But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”
LeSane also said that his father was just as stunned as everyone else who witnessed the scene Sunday evening at the Academy Awards presentation. LeSane, acting as William’s spokesman since the 80-year-old father had a stroke, refused to go further than the issued statement when asked about Smith’s Oscar acceptance speech.
Smith, who publicly apologized to Rock a day after the incident, initially apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees while accepting the Oscar for best actor for his role in King Richard.
In Smith’s acceptance speech, he remarked, “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
According to NBC News, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement that condemned Smith for slapping Rock during Sunday’s Oscars broadcast. They state that they are reviewing the matter.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the Academy wrote in a statement 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.”