The Motion Picture Academy says they asked Will Smith to leave the Dolby Theater after he slapped or punched Chris Rock on live national TV. Smith, they say, refused, and stayed to receive his Oscar.
This news came as a statement sent by the the Academy today was revealed.A meeting was held today that resulted in a decision to investigate the matter and reconvene on April 18th. At that time, it’s likely that Smith will have his membership suspended, if not revoked.
The biggest takeaway here is that the Academy apologizes to Chris Rock, who is clearly the injured party.
Here’s the Academy statement:
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.
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.
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.
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.