Furious Oscars bosses hold secret crisis talks over stripping Will Smith of Best Actor gong after Chris Rock slap

OSCARS bosses held top secret emergency talks over whether to strip Will Smith of his Best Actor gong after he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage.

Insiders said furious members of the Academy joined the meeting by Zoom and demanded the Men In Black star also be kicked out of the prestigious organisation over his antics.

Will, 53, stunned the A-List stars sitting in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood into silence after he stormed the stage and hit the comedian after he insulted his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Chris was presenting the award for Best Documentary when he mocked Jada’s shaved head and joked live on stage: “Jada, I love you, G. I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.”

Matrix actress Jada, who first revealed she suffered from hair loss condition alopecia in 2018, rolled her eyes at the joke and looked upset – which appeared to prompt Will into action.

Stars including Nicole Kidman and Lupita Nyong’o looked horrified as Will slapped Chris hard across the face before shouting: “Leave my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”

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Will’s actions have gone down in history as the most shocking moment in the Oscars’ 94-year history.

Insiders said that along with holding the crisis talks, Chris – who has refused to press charges against Will – has been offered an “after care package” to cope with the incident.

A source said: “The Academy publicly condemned Will slapping Chris and behind the scenes they went into full crisis mode.

“Once the ceremony was over the called in key members to hold an emergency meeting about what action they should take.

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“There have been calls to have Will stripped of his Best Actor gong.

"They cannot be seen to be condoning violence in any way and there are some people in the Academy who believe they should remove the award from him to make a point.

“Others however believe he should be allowed to hold onto it.

“Chris was immediately supported backstage and has been offered a package of after care where he can talk to professionals provided by the academy if needed.

“The Academy are taking this incredibly seriously.”

The stars at the ceremony and viewers watching at home were shocked when Will burst onto the stage.

Chris looked gobsmacked and simply said: “Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me,” before continuing to speak.

As the ceremony went to a commercial break, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry were seen pulling Will aside for a pep talk.

Insiders claimed Denzel told Will off for hitting Chris and videos from inside the room show the trio huddled together.

Minutes after the altercation Will returned to the stage as he won the Best Actor Oscar for the first time – after being nominated twice previously for his roles in Ali and The Pursuit Of Happiness.

He sobbed as he spoke about his role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father in the film King Richard and asked for forgiveness.

Will said on stage: “I want to apologise to the Academy, he said toward the end of his speech.

“I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.

“Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like what they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

Will also referenced Denzel’s pep talk in his speech and said the Training Day actor had warned him: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

The Academy who run the Oscars condemned Will’s actions shortly afterwards.

In a statement posted on Twitter in the early hours of Monday morning they said: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.

“Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

A-list actors and the public also called for Will to be punished for his attack on Chris.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill tweeted: “Stand-up comics are very adept at handling hecklers. Violent physical assault… not so much.”

American comedian Rosie O’Donnell added: “So upsetting on every level. Bravo to Chris Rock – for not eviscerating Will Smith – which he could do any day of the week.

“He walked away – bravo from a sad display of toxic masculinity from a narcissistic madman.”

Members of the public also called for Will’s Oscar to be taken back following his actions.

However some also backed Will’s behaviour and agreed they would have done the same.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley also defended Will and said his actions were “understandable.”

He said: “It’s clearly not OK but it’s happened and once it’s happened you have to analyse the motives behind it.

“What I’m trying to suggest is, although you can say it was wrong, is it something you can say was understandable in the heat of the moment.”

Following the ceremony Will was seen dancing at the Vanity Fair official Oscars after party.

He was filmed clutching his statuette and moving to the music as his 1997 song Get Jiggy Wit It played.

Although Jada, who married Will in 1997, and their children Jaden, 23, and Willow, 19, and Will’s son Trey, 29, from his relationship with Sheree Zampino, attended the bash they were not seen dancing with him.

The Los Angeles police department issued a statement and said Chris would not press charges, although he was offered the chance to do so.

They said: “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards programme.

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“The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.

“If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

Jada has previously spoken openly about living with alopecia and said she shaved her head in June last year to take control of the condition.

Speaking about when she first lost her hair, Jada said: “It was one of those times in my life when I was literally shaking with fear.”

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