The Academy announced that after the scandal at the 94th Academy Awards, it asked Will Smith to leave the ceremony, but Smith refused. In addition, the issue of disciplinary punishment will be brought to the agenda at the next board meeting.
After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars, one of the hottest topics was why Smith wasn’t told to leave the ceremony. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which distributed the Oscar Awards, announced in a new statement that they asked Will Smith to leave the ceremony after the scandalous event, and Smith refused this.
“Events developed in a way we could not predict,” the Academy said in a statement to People. “While we wanted to make it clear that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and was refused, we were also aware that we could have handled the situation differently.”
“The Board of Directors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violating the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and endangering the integrity of the Academy,” the statement also said. “Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct and California law, Mr. Smith is offered at least 15 days’ advance voting notice of his violations and sanctions and the opportunity to be heard in advance through a written response.”
At its next board meeting, which will take place on April 18, the Academy said they may “impose any disciplinary action that may include suspension, dismissal, or other sanctions permitted by the Regulation and the Standards of Conduct.”
A statement from the Academy also apologized to Rock, 57, who attended Sunday’s event and those who watched from home: “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on stage and thank you for your flexibility at the moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests, and viewers for what happened during an event that should have been celebratory.”