Academy: Will Smith Refused to Leave Oscars After Slapping Chris Rock

NEW YORK — The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Wednesday said that Will Smith was asked to leave to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony after hitting Chris Rock but refused to do so.

The academy’s board of governors met Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group’s standards of conduct. Smith’s disciplinary actions could be suspension, expulsion, and other penalties according to the academy.

Many people have wondered why Smith could remain in the front row of the Academy Awards following the incident. The Academy suggested Wednesday that the Academy attempted to expel Smith from the audience.

“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy said. “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.”

The Academy representatives declined to provide details on the process it attempted to remove Smith. Smith had struck Rock as a response to Jada Pinkett Smith’s joke, but Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper spoke with him.

Smith can respond to the Academy’s written statement before April 18th, when the Academy will meet again. The film academy earlier condemned Smith’s onstage assault of Rock, but it used stronger language Wednesday.

“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the Academy said. “Mr. “Mr. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”

On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the Academy and to viewers, saying “I was out of line and I was wrong.”

A representative for Smith didn’t immediately respond to messages Wednesday regarding the Academy’s latest moves.

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