During the 94th Academy Awards ceremony held on March 28, 2022, Hollywood actor Will Smith slapped the host – comedian Chris Rock – after he cracked a joke about his wife’s health condition. The video immediately went viral on social media and drew strong reactions from celebrities.
Against this backdrop, a purported screengrab of a news report started doing rounds on social media platforms with a claim that Chris Rock issued a statement apologizing that he ‘crossed a line’ at the event.
A Facebook user shared the screengrab with the caption saying, “Comedian Chris Rock issues statement following last night’s incident at the 2022 Oscars. The Academy also issued a statement saying the Organization condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show.” It added “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.”
Several other users are sharing the same claim.
NewsMobile fact-checked the viral claim and found it to be misleading.
Firstly, we checked all social media handles and Chris Rock‘s website but did not find any such statement released by him. Moreover, we did not find any credible media report to corroborate the viral claim either.
On checking further, we found a tweet by a Hollywood reporter Rebecca Keegan who clarified that Rock has not made the viral statement and that it is falsely being attributed to him.
She wrote, “Chris Rock has not yet issued a statement. There is a statement going around purporting to be from Rock that is not from him, per his team. It’s the one that starts, “As a comedian it can be difficult to understand…”
However, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences condemned Will Smith for his action against comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony and said that it’s reviewing the matter.
“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,” the Academy said in a statement.
Following the backlash, Will Smith issued an apology statement and also resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Hence, with the above information, it can be concluded that the viral claim is misleading.
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