BAFTA Organizers Say They Would've 'Removed' Will Smith from Ceremony After Slap Unlike Oscars

Will Smith won a BAFTA Award this year, two weeks before he smacked Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars then won Best Actor

The BAFTA Awards, which is the British equivalent of the Oscars, is taking a firm stance against violence, saying that Will Smith would have been removed from its ceremony after hitting someone onstage.

During Sunday night's Oscars, Will, 53, walked onto the stage and struck Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. He was allowed to remain at his front-row seat the rest of the ceremony, and later won his first-ever Oscar for Best Actor, delivering a tear-filled speech.

Organizers for the BAFTAs told The Hollywood Reporter that if the incident had happened at their event, Smith — who has since apologized and said that "violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive" — would have been removed and not permitted to accept his award onstage after the altercation.

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"They would be removed from the ceremony," Sara Putt, deputy chair of BAFTA, told the outlet when asked about their protocol. "They would not be in the buildings, so they would not physically be able to collect their award. ... It's just a complete red line for us."

Emma Baehr, executive director of awards and content for BAFTAs, added, "We do not tolerate violence of any kind."

This year's BAFTA Awards were held on Sunday, March 13, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Will won best leading actor for King Richard there as well, though he was not in attendance for the ceremony.

Will Smith
Will Smith. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty

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In a statement Sunday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it does not condone violence of any form. Then, in another statement on Monday, it said it "condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

The Standards of Conduct lists unacceptable conduct as including "physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome." It also says if a member is found to have violated the standards, "the Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy's Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership."

will smith
Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars on March 27, 2022. Robyn Beck/getty

An industry source told PEOPLE Monday, "Behind the scenes there were a lot of people, and different voices and bifurcated opinions, weighing in on what had just happened and what was the best and quickest course of action. People were also checking that Chris Rock was okay."

"Basically there were just minutes to first figure out if it was a stunt and then try and get people on the same page — including the producers, ABC, the Academy, reps who were not all in the same place or all looking at their phones in real time, and even to see if Chris wanted to press charges," the source explained.

The source added that "having Will removed was definitely discussed seriously." They said: "You can't plan for something like this and make a split-second decision that needs everyone's buy-in, and in any iteration that would have consequences."

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