“WILL Smith had every right.” “If I was Will Smith’s wife, I would love him even more.” “The problem for me is actually comedians...” Just a few of the hot takes served up at breakfast time on Radio Scotland on Monday, as listeners phoned in to tell Kaye Adams how they felt about Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock in the middle of the Oscars.

La La Land might be 5000 miles away from Scotland, but apparently you don’t have to be a member of the Hollywood elite to believe that a man losing control, committing an act of violence then shouting and swearing, all in front of a global audience of millions, is fair enough, so long as the provocation was a joke about his wife. Extraordinary.

I wonder if these same folk would accept similar pleas of mitigation from the average Joes who find themselves in the sheriff court after boozed-up altercations during big nights out. If someone has given their burd a dirty look, does that make a slap OK? What about a derogatory comment about their maw – would a punch by permitted? Or do these get-outs only apply to sharply dressed movie stars whose credits include Bad Boys and a biopic of Muhammed Ali?

I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing when I awoke to find Twitter ablaze with jokes and memes about Oscars night. Was this … real? It’s understandable that the audience at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night may have initially thought they were watching some kind of pre-prepared skit when Smith stormed the stage and Rock uttered “uh oh”, but if the sound of a hard strike of palm on cheek didn’t clue them into what was happening, the actor roaring expletives from his seat surely must have.

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Why on earth was Smith not instantly removed from the premises? We regularly read of priceless diamond necklaces being afforded their own security guards at the Oscars, yet it appears the human presenters are left to fend for themselves without so much as an ice pack for a stinging face. Rock’s joke might not have been in the script, but the stage manager would definitely have been tipped off if a scene involving fisticuffs had been rehearsed. It’s hard to believe there are no protocols in place to protect the stars.

Of course, one star was protected. The ceremony simply carried on as if nothing had happened. Was this because Smith’s name was inside the “best actor” gold envelope, and his big moment was judged to matter more than anything else? Instead of being bundled out of a side door by bouncers during an interval, the actor was allowed to be given pep talks by Hollywood chums including Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper. Worse still, he was given a standing ovation by his peers when shortly afterwards he picked up his award.

What on earth were they thinking? Had they somehow forgotten what had happened, these people whose job it is to learn lines? I’d bet if you ask me about it five years from now I’ll be able to tell you that Smith shouted “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”

During a skin-crawling, weepy acceptance speech, Smith astonishingly tried to suggest that with his earlier behaviour he had been channelling the role for which he was being lauded. To make matters worse, the role in question was a real person: Richard Williams, the late father of tennis champions Venus and Serena.

“Art imitates life,” he said. “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams! But love will make you do crazy things.” Wow.

Commentators can spend as much time as they like discussing whether Rock’s quip crossed a line – and indeed why it was ever decided that film award ceremonies should be mean, awkward “comedy roasts” instead of joyful celebrations of cinema – but none of this changes the fact that a global megastar just responded to a joke by completely losing the plot, and his industry colleagues barely paused to make a “yikes” face before showering him with applause, praising him in the press room and dancing with him at the Vanity Fair after-party.

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Perhaps they were actually convinced by Smith’s snivelling declaration that he’s been called on by God to protect women and his assertion that he wishes to be “an ambassador of love”, but to anyone not drunk on free champagne the bare-faced audacity of the man was staggering.

The Academy might have deemed him best actor but it’s hard to imagine a worse performance than this ejaculation of delusional narcissism with a phoney apology tacked on. He couldn’t even stay in character until the end, chuckling as he signed off with: “I’m hoping the Academy invites me back.”

Of course they will. Smith should have been sent packing before his win was even announced – it’s too late to sanction him now. He was allowed not just his moment of glory but a whole evening of it.

One had hoped Hollywood might have learned a thing or two about not pandering to its most rich and powerful players when their behaviour crosses a line. The evidence could not be clearer that it has not.