Mar 31, 2022 - Technology

Academy begins disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith

 Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California
Will Smith accepting the Best Actor Oscar for "King Richard" during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences launched Wednesday "disciplinary proceedings" against Will Smith and said it asked him to leave the Oscars ceremony after he slapped Chris Rock on stage, but he refused.

Driving the news: Smith apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees for the incident while accepting his Best Actor Oscar on Sunday, and a day later to comedian Rock, who had made a joke about the shaved head of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. (She has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.)

What they're saying: The academy said in an emailed statement it had "initiated disciplinary proceedings" against Smith for "violations" of the standards of conduct, "including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity" of the organization.

  • "Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated," the academy added. "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."

Worth noting: Smith was presented with his Oscar after the incident with Rock.

Meanwhile, Rock said at a show in Boston he's "still processing what happened," but will talk about it at some point and "it'll be funny," per the Independent.

What's next: "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," per the academy's statement.

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