NEW YORK (AP) — 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. The academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
Many have focused on why Smith was allowed to remain seated front row in the Dolby Theatre after the incident. On Wednesday, the academy suggested that it attempted to remove the actor 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.
Now, the Academy said it is giving Smith “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.”
At their next board meeting on April 18, the Academy said it may take disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
“Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment,” the Academy wrote in its statement. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
THE CULTURE KEEPER-