The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Wednesday said Will Smith was asked to leave until 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.
Ticket sales spike for Chris Rock after Will Smith slap during Oscars
Many have focused on why Smith was allowed to remain seated front row at the Academy Awards after the incident. On Wednesday, the academy suggested that it attempted to remove the actor from the audience.
“Things unfolded in a way we couldn’t 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. ”
Jim Carrey says he was ‘sickened’ by Will Smith’s standing ovation at Oscars, calls Hollywood ‘spineless’
A representative for the academy declined to give specifics on how it tried to removed Smith. After Smith struck Rock in response to a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, several stars including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry spoke with the 53-year-old Smith.
The academy said Smith has the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again on April 18. The film academy previously condemned Smith’s onstage assault of Rock, but it used stronger language Wednesday.
Could Will Smith face criminal charges for Oscars slap? Legal experts weigh in
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television, ”the academy said. “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. ”
The federal carbon tax is set to rise April 1. How will that affect gas prices?
Bruce Willis to quit acting career due to aphasia diagnosis, says family
On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the academy and to viewers, saying “I was out of line and I was wrong.”
Rock, who had yet to respond publicly to the incident, performed stand-up Wednesday night in Boston. He was greeted by a thunderous standing ovation.
“How was your weekend?” began Rock who then cautioned the crowd that he didn’t have a lot to say yet about the Oscars, according to audio posted by the Hollywood trade outlet Variety. “I’m still kind of processing what happened”
How to talk to your kids about what happened at the Oscars.
A representative for Smith did not immediately respond to messages Wednesday regarding the academy’s latest moves.
Only a very small number of academy members have ever been expelled, including Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and the actor Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out for sharing awards screeners.
Whoopi Goldberg, a member of the academy’s board of governors, said Monday on “The View,” “We’re not going to take that Oscar from him.” (Even Oscars won by expelled members have not previously been ordered to be returned.) Goldberg added that “nobody is OK with what happened”
Will Smith says he was ‘out of line’ for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Others from Sunday’s telecast also began speaking out. Co-host Wanda Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview to air April 7 that she felt physically ill after Smith slapped Rock. When he returned to his seat, Smith twice shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”
“I’m still a little traumatized by it,” Sykes said in a clip released Wednesday.
Within an hour, Smith was back on stage accepting the award for best actor for his performance in “King Richard.” Many in the Dolby Theater gave him a standing ovation.
“I was like, how gross is this? This is the wrong message. You assault somebody and you get escorted out of the building and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross, ”Sykes said. “I wanted to be able to run out (on stage) after he won and say,` Uh, unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight. ”
Will Smith slap meme tweet overshadows Jason Kenney’s carbon tax announcement
© 2022 The Canadian Press