Los Angeles: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has “initiated disciplinary proceedings” against actor Will Smith for smacking presenter Chris Rock at the Oscars’ event at Dolby theatres.
“Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy,” the organization behind the Oscars said in a statement on Wednesday.
CNN quoted the academy as saying that the ‘King Richard’ actor was asked to leave the ceremony after the incident but he refused.
It said, “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 refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
On March 27, Smith had physically smacked presenter Chris Rock on the head for making the ill-advised joke about his wife Jada Pinkett’s alopecia. Rock joked that she was set to make ‘GI Jane 2’ next, which led Smith to rush up on stage and try to hit Rock.
Smith then told him not to use his wife’s name. Smith, went up on stage just to put the message across, as Rock body-shamed the “Aladdin” actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Condemning the incident, the organisation said, “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment.
“We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.” Another board meeting would be held on April 18 on the matter wherein “the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
“Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided 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,” the statement added.