Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars after slapping Chris Rock but he refused, according to the Academy

Will Smith was asked to quit the Oscars after slapping Chris Rock, but he refused, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement Wednesday.

“Things unfolded in a way that we could not have foreseen,” the statement said. “Although we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize that we could have handled the situation differently.”

“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards were a deeply shocking and traumatic event to witness in person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience at that time,” the statement added. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened at what should have been a celebratory event.”

The Academy also said it had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violating its code of conduct, “including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and for compromising the integrity of the Academy.”

The Academy’s president and CEO said in a letter to its members, obtained by CBS News, that his formal exam by Smith The slap of the Oscars “It will take a few weeks.” David Rubin and Dawn Hudson noted that the review must “follow a formal process”.

“Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Academy Awards was meant to be a celebration of the many people in our community who did an incredible job over the past year. We are shocked and outraged that these moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and damaging onstage behavior of ‘a candidate,’ the letter read. “To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith’s actions that occurred on Sunday evening.”

“As set forth in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now decide on appropriate action for Mr. Smith,” they wrote. “As governed by California law regarding members of nonprofit organizations like the Academy, and set forth in our standards of conduct, this must follow a formal process that will take a few weeks.”

Will Smith slaps American actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The letter didn’t specify what possible punishment Smith could face for slapping Rock in the face while the comedian was presenting an award and then yelling at him to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

Table has the authority to suspend or expel members who violate the Academy’s Code of Conduct or “compromise the integrity” of the Academy. Actress Whoopi Goldberg, who sits on the Academy’s board of trustees, said on Monday: ‘There will be consequences, I’m sure of that’ but also said they would not strip Smith of the award for Best Actor which he won about 30 minutes after the incident. for the film “King Richard”.

Rock declined to press charges against Smith for the slap, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Sunday night.

Black-smith apologized to Rock and the Academy on Tuesday, writing on Instagram that his actions were “unacceptable and inexcusable,” and adding that he was “out of place and I was wrong.”

Lance B. Holton