Dozens File Complaints with the FCC About Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

Viewers of the 94th Academy Awards flocked to the FCC, citing unnecessary violence and profanity as reasons to penalize the awards show.
at the 94th Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on March 27th, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith at the 94th Academy Awards
Christopher Polk for Variety

The Federal Communications Commission has just been slapped with a slew of viewer complaints following the 2022 Oscars.

The incident in question is obviously the physical altercation between Best Actor winner Will Smith and presenter Chris Rock. Smith rushed the stage and attacked Rock after the comic made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia. Smith then proceeded to yell, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth” repeatedly after returning to his seat.

The 16.6 million Oscar viewers (the second lowest in the show’s broadcast history) had to piece together what transpired after certain telecasts cut out with the swearing and the violence.

Insider reported that FCC complaints were made public through Freedom of Information Act request, filed on Monday, March 28.

A few claims to the FCC are below:

“Will Smith physically and verbally attacked Chris Rock. It is the Oscars. If this couple cannot control themselves they should be banned. What Will Smith did was illegal. He should not be allowed to attend in the future. Anyone who is violent at the Oscars should immediately have to leave and not be allowed to attend in the future. This is a family show.”

“Hello, during the 2022 telecast of the Academy Awards, Will Smith physically assaulted Chris Rock on stage. This reprehensible act shocked my family and child, whom asked me innocently ‘why did he hit that man?’ I hope Mr Smith faces consequences for his actions as it demonstrates the wrong way to go about handling a disagreement. It also could embolden other individuals in similar events to assault people if they believe it is warranted.”

“During the broadcast of the Oscars on 3/27/2022, Will Smith went on stage and smacked Chris Rock with an open fist. It is devastating to watch something so violent and unexpected during a show.”

“Chris Rock was joking and I did not find the specific joke about Will’s wife distasteful. Additionally, Will Smith’s profanity at the Oscars was also shameful.”

Others called broadcast network ABC to do better when it came to censorship of the live awards ceremony.

“Disney/ABC is to blame, those cameras were still allowed this to air,” one complaint from St. Louis read.

Another added, “The FCC should ban the Oscars from every airing again the save the American people from having to watch the terrible, terrible garbage. Please arrest them immediately.”

Smith publicly apologized to both the Academy and Rock, saying, “There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences stated that “disciplinary proceedings” have begun to address Smith. The Academy also revealed that Smith was “asked to leave the ceremony and refused,” admitting the Board could have “handled the situation differently.”

However, new reports allege that the Academy did not ask Smith to leave and did not threaten to forcibly remove him.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.