NEW YORK (AP) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Will Smith was asked to leave for Sunday’s Oscars after hitting Chris Rock, but declined.
Many have questioned why Smith was allowed to remain in the front row at the Oscars after the incident. The academy on Wednesday suggested he try to remove the actor from the audience.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have expected,” the academy said. “While we want to explain that Mr. “Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and was refused. We also acknowledge that we could have handled the situation differently.”
The academy’s board of governors met on Wednesday to initiate disciplinary action against Smith for violations of the group’s standards of conduct. The academy said Smith had the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the council met again on April 18. The academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
The film academy had earlier condemned Smith’s attack on Rock on stage. But it used stronger language on Wednesday.
“Mr. Smith’s performance at the 94th Oscars was a deeply shocking, traumatic event to be seen in person and on television,” the academy said. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience at that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened during what should have been a festive event. ”
Smith apologized to Rock, the academy and viewers on Monday, saying, “I was out of line and I was wrong.”