Will Smith Was Asked To Leave Oscars But He Refused, Academy Says

The Academy is taking action towards Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday.

The Board of Governors released a statement on Wednesday, sharing that they have already begun disciplinary proceedings following Smith’s violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct during Sunday night’s show.

“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,” the statement said. “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.”

The Academy went on to say that it was shocked by Smith’s actions and extended their apologies to Rock.

“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.”

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In the statement, the Academy also revealed that they asked Smith to leave the ceremony, but he refused.

“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.”

During Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, Smith slapped Rock on-stage after he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Jada has been open about her alopecia diagnosis.

 

In the moment, audience members let out audible gasps and confusion over the incident.

When he got back to his seat Smith was spotted saying “keep my wife’s name out of your f—king mouth,” but the audio was cut from the broadcast.

Smith later apologized to the Academy during his speech after winning best actor for his role in “King Richard.”

On Monday, the Oscar winner released a statement regarding the incident calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”

The 53-year-old then directed his statement directly to the comedian.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

He also extended his apology to the academy, his “King Richard” costars and his fans.

“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for us all. I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.”

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-Emely Navarro

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