Richmond Park MP reflects on Oscars night remembered for all the wrong reasons

A south west London MP has joined countless voices in condemning Will Smith’s actions at this year’s Oscars.

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony on 28 March drew headlines when Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about the star’s wife.

Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney lamented that it overshadowed the talent celebrated on the night – and called on the Academy to investigate the incident.

She said: “The Oscars should be about celebrating cinema and shining a light on all the wonderfully talented but frequently overlooked crew members who have worked on the films nominated. 

“Yet sadly this year the night and following days have been overshadowed by the actions of one man. 

“I hope the Academy commits to a full and thorough investigation to ensure Will Smith is held accountable for his actions and that safeguards are put in place to prevent this kind of incident from ever happening again.”

The polarising moment has been viewed by more than 90million people on YouTube.

100Black Men, a charity based in London said they were also outraged by Smith’s actions.

A spokesperson said: “Will Smith should have handled it better. He should have taken Chris Rock aside afterwards and had a word with him.”

Smith resigned from the Academy on 1 April in the wake of the controversy.

Featured image: Jernej Furman @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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