Academy says Will Smith refused to leave Oscars as board disciplinary probe begins, expulsion on table

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced on Wednesday that it had initiated “disciplinary proceedings” against Will Smith, while specifying that the organization had asked the actor to leave the Oscars ceremony on Sunday evening when he assaulted comedian Chris Rock live on TV. .

Expanding on its previous statements, the Academy went beyond simply condemning Will Smith’s actions, but also apologized to Chris Rock for what happened.

“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for breaching the Academy’s standards of conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and undermining the integrity of the Academy,” the statement read. The Hollywood Reporter (THR).

The Academy added that Will Smith will be given the opportunity to defend himself in writing before the board meets on April 18 to decide on the appropriate disciplinary action, which could include “suspension, expulsion or other authorized sanctions. by statutes and standards of conduct”. .”

After Smith stormed the stage and assaulted Rock on Sunday, he shouted obscenities at the comedian, accepted the Best Actor award and appeared in his acceptance speech to condone his behavior by saying “love will make you do crazy things”.

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Smith then attended the vanity lounge Oscars afterparty and danced the night away.

According to the Academy, Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but declined.

“Mr. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience at this time,” the Academy said. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened at what should have been a celebratory event.”

“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 declined, we also recognize that we could have handled the situation differently. “, he concluded.

The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for breaching the Academy’s standards of conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and undermining the integrity of the Academy.

In accordance with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith receives at least 15 days’ notice for a vote regarding his violations and penalties, and an opportunity to be heard beforehand through of a written response. 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.

Mr. Smith’s shares at 94and The Oscars 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 this time. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened during what should have been a celebratory event.

Things happened in a way that we could not have foreseen. 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.

According to THR Awards columnist Scott Feinberg, several members of the Academy privately expressed to him that they would like to see Will Smith’s membership suspended in light of the organization’s standards of conduct that were implemented during the fallout. about convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.

Will Smith posted an apology on Instagram on Monday, calling his behavior “inexcusable.”

“Violence in all its forms is toxic and destructive. My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he said.

Chris Rock has yet to publicly comment on the incident.

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