Will Smith may face “suspension” or “expulsion” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for slapping Chris Rock during Sunday’s Oscars. The Board of Governors of the body that oversees the awards held an emergency meeting to discuss repercussions for the King Richard star, who just won his first golden statue. According to a new statement on Wednesday, the Academy asked Smith to leave the ceremony but he “refused.” The organization admitted they botched the handling of the incident.
“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy,s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy,” the Academy statement begins.
“Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct,” it continues.
The Academy apologized to Rock and viewers at home.
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event,” the statement reads. “Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”