Academy bosses have seen crucial otherwise unseen video showing what Jada Pinkett Smith said to her husband in the seconds before he charged the Oscars stage and slapped the standup comic. This footage is central to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ investigation — but has yet to be publicly released, OK! has confirmed.
“Someone needs to force the hand of the gatekeepers to release the missing video after the cutaway,” a source told the website Radar. (A cutaway is a television term for a shot that cuts away from the main action to a separate or secondary action.)
“An analysis of the video in slow motion shows Will not only laughing at Rock's joke but also clapping. The video of what happened during the next three seconds afterward needs to be released; it's a multi-camera setup.”
“Jada did something major that snapped him out of genuine laugher. He was never looking at her as you can see in the video before the director cut back to Rock," the insider pointed out.
Smith, who immediately after won Best Actor for his work in King Richard, initially found Rock’s joke to be so funny he laughed and even clapped. Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, rolled her eyes at the quip.
The main camera remained on Rock for at least three seconds before the Bad Boys actor stormed the stage, a Hollywood source told Radar.
Added an industry insider: “These crews and feeds will be able to show the world what really happened. What pushed Will to attack Chris after he was seemingly bemused by the GI Jane joke? What did Jada do in those critical seconds?”
“This is the greatest missing evidence mysteries since the 18-minute gap on the Watergate tapes!”
As OK! was first to report, the reverberations of the incident are being felt across the industry. Crisis talks are being held at Condé Nast, the parent company of Vanity Fair, after it allowed Smith to use its famous post-Oscars party to celebrate his win.
The Independence Day star danced and rapped along to a mash-up of his own songs, from "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" to "Summertime," only a few hours after he slapped an Oscar presenter during the televised award show.
"Congratulations Will Smith, I love you!" shouted DJ D-Nice as he spun the medley.
“The rule has always been that a gold statue gets you in regardless of invite or not,” a company insider told OK! exclusively.
“Will was invited — and he had an Oscar in hand — so naturally he walked right through the front door. But now questions are being asked if Vanity Fair should have denied him entry, cheered and celebrated him, while at the same time creating a potentially unsafe environment for guests and staff.”
The Academy later shocked Hollywood when it was revealed Smith, 53, had been asked to leave the ceremony — but he would not comply. Minutes later, he won the evening’s biggest award.
“Now the Academy has revealed it asked him to leave and he refused, it’s very embarrassing for Vanity Fair that it did the opposite. They welcomed the Hollywood star in like a hero,” the source added.
The Academy's board of governors will meet on April 18 and decide on the consequence for Smith’s behavior.
“I was out of line, and I was wrong,” Smith wrote on Instagram the day after the Oscars.
Meanwhile, at the start of his first comedy show since the Oscars, Rock told a Boston crowd: “I'm still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I'll talk about that s**t — and it will be serious and funny.”