Will Smith’s publicists are an able group, far more aggressive than the those from the Motion Picture Academy.
So they’ve planted a story with TMZ — not a reputable outfit unless they’re monitoring police radio — that the Academy never asked Smith to leave the Dolby Theater after he slapped Chris Rock on the Oscars stage.
This has produced headlines reading “Academy Lied.”
Just wait a second. Before everyone starts attacking the Academy, let’s get a grip. The Academy is a group of real, honest, serious people. You may not like the way the Oscars are produced for one reason or another, but these people do not lie. They are very upfront in their dealings.
What reason would make the Academy lie anyway, especially to the Associated Press? There’s no upside to it. I believe them when they say they asked Smith to leave and he refused. He knew he was going to win the Oscar for “King Richard.” He had them over a barrel. And then he went on stage and made his tearful, ridiculous acceptance speech.
The Academy was certainly not going to have Smith removed forcibly. It was either a civilized agreement, or they had to back off. But let’s proceed here sensibly. If the publicists could find a real news outlet to buy their story, they would have done so.