The Will Smith-Chris Rock slapgate is getting murkier as the Academy members have failed to come to a consensus over stripping the former of his Oscar award.
The final decision is expected to be declared within hours.
There is an ongoing buzz on social media that Smith is being targeted by his professional rivals who want to see him down in the dumps at any and every cost.
Chris Rock's Brother Join Hands with Smith's Critics
It is also learnt that Smith's rivals and critics have sided with Tony, Chris Rock's brother who vociferously objected to the slapping incident. Tony, who is also a comedian, had publicly demanded that Will Smith should be stripped of his award.
At the same time, Smith's supporters have come to his rescue stating that if the convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski have not been stripped of their honours, taking such a stern stand against Smith is unjustified.
A large number of his fans have taken to social media platforms stating that Smith shouldn't be stripped of his award as it has been conferred on him for "excellence in acting". The slapping incident was an outcome of purely personal reasons and it would be unfair to mix it with his professional expertise, the fans added further.
"Cannot believe I'm abt to agree with piers morgan but yeah he's right. Its hypocrisy. How does Roman Polinski still hav his 2 Oscars despite fleeing the US before the final sentencing of sexual assault charges, bt sure let's strip Will Smith of his Oscar," read a tweet.
One more twitter user expressed, "Award was won on Acting Merit, so not appropriate to take back: Academy members 'split' over decision to strip Will Smith of his Oscar after Chris Rock slap @willsmith."
Another user expressed his opinion stating "#willsmith #oscar #oscars #award
I'm seeing where another one of Chris Rock's brothers is demanding Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar. It's up to Chris, really. Tell the Oscars to strip Will Smith of his Oscar or he will file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Academy for unsafe workplace conditions."