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Academy Says Will Smith ‘Was Asked to Leave Ceremony and Refused’ as They Begin ‘Disciplinary Action’

Best Actor winner Smith allegedly refused to leave the ceremony after attacking presenter Chris Rock.

Will Smith cries as he accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role for "King Richard" at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has officially begun “disciplinary proceedings” after Will Smith attacked Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards.

The assault came after presenter Rock ad-libbed a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hairstyle. Smith went on to win Best Actor for “King Richard,” and later issued an apology calling his actions “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Following the 2022 Oscars, the Academy tweeted that it does not “condone violence.”

Now, on March 30, the Academy has doubled down on its stance and ongoing investigation.

“The 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,” an official statement read.

The Academy also revealed that Smith was “asked to leave the ceremony and refused,” admitting the Board could have “handled the situation differently.” The Academy also apologized to Rock for how the evening unfolded.

Read the full statement below:

The 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.

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. 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 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.

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.

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