In a poll that ran from 10am on Thursday, March 31, to 10am on Friday, April 1, Express.co.uk asked: “Should Will Smith have his Oscar taken away after Chris Rock slap?” A total of 3,340 people cast their votes and dozens left comments below the accompanying article sharing their views on the standout moment from the 94th Academy Awards.
Overall, the bulk of respondents – 70 percent (2,348 people) – said Will Smith should have his Oscar taken away, opting for “yes – what he did was wrong and should have consequences”.
A further 29 percent of voters (975 people) said “no – he earned his award and should keep it”.
Just one percent (17 people) said they did not know.
While presenting the Best Documentary Feature category, comedian Chris Rock aimed a joke toward Mr Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” in reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Ms Pinkett Smith has openly talked about her struggles with alopecia.
In response, Mr Smith walked on stage to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
Later in the ceremony, Mr Smith won Best Actor for his role as the father of a young Venus and Serena William in biopic King Richard.
His earlier behaviour led to calls for Mr Smith to have his Oscar withdrawn with Express.co.uk readers sharing this views on this in the comments.
Username SandyFeet38 said: “ABSOLUTELY it should be taken away!!!!!! There is no ROOM for profanity and violence ANYWHERE and it doesn’t matter the type of setting it is.”
And username Elite wrote: “Yes, removing his Oscar will hurt him badly as he has desperately wanted one for years.”
While username Beehive commented: “Take away the Oscar. He should never have been given it, after what he did.”
They added that “second place should get the award” instead of Mr Smith.
However, some took the view that Mr Smith had worked for his nomination and deserved the award regardless of his actions.
Username sceptical said: “He earned the Oscar, he gets the award.”
On Thursday, the Academy said it had initiated “disciplinary proceedings” against Mr Smith for violation of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct.
The Academy said they had asked Mr Smith to leave the ceremony after hitting Mr Rock, but that he had refused.
In a statement, the Academy said: “Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognise we could have handled the situation differently.”
The Academy meets for its next board meeting on April 18 and further action may be taken including “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions,” the statement said.