Jim Carrey says 'Hollywood is spineless' for giving Will Smith standing ovation: 'I was sickened'

The academy is promising to take "appropriate action" and said it's "outraged" by Will Smith's actions.

ByDerricke Dennis via ABCNews logo
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
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Jim Carrey eviscerated Will Smith and the Dolby Theatre audience at the Oscars for giving the star a standing ovation when he won the best actor award.

The motion-picture academy has released a new statement on Will Smith's "slap" at the Oscars.

The academy is promising to take "appropriate action" and said it's "outraged" by Smith's actions.

Wednesday morning, new indications Smith may face consequences for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday.

After calling a board of governors meeting Monday to discuss the incident, the film academy said that it will review Smith's actions and "will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct and California law." The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday it was aware of the incident but was not pursuing an investigation because the person involved declined to file a police report.

Academy expected to hold emergency meeting on possible Will Smith punishment

Nobody, nobody is OK with what happened," said Whoopi Goldberg.

Goldberg is on the board. She said she does not believe Smith's Oscar should be taken away from him, but on 'The View' Tuesday, Goldberg suggested Smith does need to be punished.

"There are consequences -- there are big consequences," she said.

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Comedy legend Jim Carrey is also weighing in. Criticizing the standing ovation Smith got when he accepted his Oscar just minutes after assaulting Rock.

"I was sickened. I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse," Carrey said. "If you want to yell from the audience or show disapproval or say something on Twitter or whatever, you do not have the right to walk up on stage and smack somebody because they said words."

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Both Carrey and Goldberg also expressed concern for Smith:

"The reason people got up and went over to him is because a lot of people thought, 'Oh my God, is he having a break? Should we get him out? What do we need to do,'" Goldberg said.

The day after slapping Chris Rock, upending the ceremony at the 94th Academy Awards Sunday, Will Smith issued an apology to the comedian, to the academy and to viewers at home, saying he was "out of line" and that his actions are "not indicative of the man I want to be."

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The fallout from Smith's actions continued as Hollywood and the public continued to wrestle with a moment that stunned the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Smith striking Rock, who had made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and said it would launch an inquiry.

Later in the day, Smith gave a stronger apology than he did in his best actor acceptance speech, which notably hadn't included an apology to Rock.

Pinkett Smith responded Tuesday with a graphic on Instagram that read: "This is a season of healing and I'm here for it." She offered no further comment.

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Oscars: Actress posts about 'healing' amid controversy

Smith shocked the Dolby Theatre crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock, appearing as a presenter, joked: "Jada, I love you. 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it."

The joke touched a nerve. Pinkett Smith, whose head is shaved, has spoken publicly about her alopecia diagnosis. Smith strode on stage and slapped Rock across the face. Back in his seat, Smith twice shouted for Rock to "get my wife's name out your (expletive) mouth." His words echoed clearly throughout the Dolby, though broadcaster ABC cut the audio for about 15 seconds. Within an hour, Smith won best actor, receiving a standing ovation. During his five-minute acceptance speech, Smith spoke about defending his family. He also apologized to the academy.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Carrey said: "I see it as a larger issue and as an issue of the boundaries being broken, you know -- boundaries and allowances and permissiveness to certain behaviors.

"The fact is that license is being given to people to act out violently when they don't like what they hear," Carrey said. "And it just shouldn't be."

The academy released another statement that said it's "upset and outraged" by Smith's actions and said any action it takes will likely take "a few weeks."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.