Tony Awards Issue Warning About 'No Violence Policy' After Will Smith's Oscars Slap

The awards show said perpetrators will be "removed from the event immediately" without mentioning the altercation last month at the Academy Awards.
Chris Rock and Will Smith onstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards.
Chris Rock and Will Smith onstage during the show at the 94th Academy Awards.
Myung Chun via Getty Images

The aftershocks of Will Smith’s onstage Oscars slap have hit the Tony Awards, which is reminding attendees about its “no violence policy” ahead of the ceremony in June.

The 75th annual awards show, which celebrates achievements in theater over the past year, sent a letter to potential ticket buyers that seems to be aimed at preventing another onstage altercation.

“The Tony Awards has a strict no violence policy. In the event of an incident, the perpetrator will be removed from the event immediately,” reads the FAQ section of the letter, obtained by Deadline.

The letter also mentions a slew of other, more standard mandates related to the event’s dress code, its COVID-19 policy, and non-transferable tickets.

But it didn’t directly mention the incident at the 94th annual Academy Awards last month when Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage over his joke about the “King Richard” star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock had joked that Pinkett Smith, who has publicly discussed having alopecia, would star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel, an apparent reference to her shaved head. After initially laughing, Smith then walked on stage and hit Rock before returning to his front-row seat and yelling obscenities at the comedian.

The actor, who later won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the sports biopic, has since been banned from attending the awards show for 10 years.

Smith later apologized to Rock in a lengthy Instagram statement and preemptively chose to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before the organization made its decision.

After last year’s long-delayed and COVID-impacted ceremony, the Tony Awards will be handed out on Sunday, June 12, from Radio City Musical Hall in New York City.

The four-hour event will begin on Paramount+ before airing live on CBS across the continental United States for the first time. Nominations for this year’s ceremony will be announced on Tuesday, May 3.

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