Academy: Will Smith Refused To Leave Oscars After Slap
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says they asked actor Will Smith to leave the Oscars ceremony after slapping Chris Rock, but he refused to comply.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” the statement read. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
The Academy also said it had launched disciplinary proceedings against Smith, who won the Best Actor award later that night, for violating its code of conduct.
“As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith,” David Rubin and Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s president and CEO, wrote in a letter. “As governed by California law regarding members of nonprofit organizations like the Academy, and set forth in our Standards of Conduct, this must follow an official process that will take a few weeks.”
Warning: Graphic language.