Will Smith refused to leave the Oscar ceremony after attacking comedian Chris Rock, the Academy of Movement Arts and Sciences revealed on Wednesday, as it initiated disciplinary action against the mega star.
Smith may face expulsion from the Academy for an open slap, which came seconds before he was awarded the best actor award for his role in “King Richard” – an announcement greeted with cheers by the audience.
“While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith has been asked to leave the council and decline, we are also aware that we may have handled the situation differently,” a statement said.
The academy, the body that awarded the Oscars, said it would hold a vote on what action to take against Smith in connection with the attack on global television, which ruined Hollywood’s most important night.
“The Board of Governors today commenced disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Will Smith for violating the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening conduct, and compromising the integrity of the Academy,” the statement said.
“Mr. Smith was given at least 15 days’ notice of the ballot of his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard first through a written reply.
“At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, dismissal or other restrictions permitted by the By-Laws and Standards of Conduct.”
The group was under strong pressure to respond appropriately to the blow, which has dominated luxury award coverage and took notice from a few notable firsts – including for the mostly deaf actor “CODA,” which won best picture.
Dismissals from the exclusive club are rare, but never heard of: Harvey Weinstein was kicked out in 2017 after emerging reports of sexual assault for decades.
Director Roman Polanski was fired in 2019 after years of controversy over his 1978 conviction for raping a 13-year-old girl.
No man is stripped of their Oscars.
Attendees at Sunday’s ceremony watched in a gasp as Smith stormed onto the stage and hit Rock, who had made jokes about the head of his actor’s wife being severely cut off.
Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a condition that causes her to lose hair.
Rock managed to keep the gala on track, but the atmosphere at the event has clearly changed.
Less than half an hour later, upon receiving the film world’s highest honor for an actor, Smith tearfully claimed: “Love will make you do crazy things.”
The stars of “Men in Black” and “Aladdin” later apologized to Rock in an Instagram post, and Pinkett Smith posted on the platform that it is now “season for healing.”
Rock finally spoke publicly about the episode to a sold -out crowd in Boston on Wednesday.
“How was your weekend?” he asked the audience as he took to the stage, before adding that he didn’t have any material about the slap.
“If you come to hear it, I have an overall plan that I wrote before this weekend,” Variety reported. “I am still processing what happened.
“At some point I’ll talk about that shit,” he added. “And it’s going to be serious and funny.”
In a statement Wednesday, the Academy apologized to Rock for the “extremely shocking traumatic event.”
“Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your perseverance at that time,” the Academy said.
Oscar co -host Wanda Sykes, one of three women whose turn to lead the show garnered much praise, revealed on Wednesday she felt ill after the attack and thought Smith should have been evicted.
“It’s disgusting. It’s really-I’m physically in pain, and I’m still a little traumatized by it,” she told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
“And for them to let (Smith) stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and receive his award, I was like, ‘How cruel is this?’ This sent the wrong message.
“If you attack someone, you’ll be escorted out of the building and that’s it. But for them to let him go on, I think it’s disgusting,” he said.
He also told DeGeneres that he had spoken to Rock after the show.
“The first thing he said was, ‘I’m sorry.’ I was like, ‘Why are you sorry?’ He was like, ‘It’s supposed to be your night.
“‘You and Amy (Schumer) and Regina (Hall) have done such a great job. I’m sorry this is going to happen now,'” Sykes, Rock told her.
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