Oscars 2022 garnered widespread backlash for not removing Will Smith from the Dolby Theater after he slapped Chris Rock on stage. However, in a new statement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that the Best Leading Actor winner Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but he refused.
The Academy, in a statement shared to multiple outlets, described Will’s actions as “a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television” and also apologised to comedian Chris Rock, those in attendance, and viewers for what happened.
“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 recognized we could have handled the situation differently,” the statement added.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the Academy’s board of governors has officially started “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith for violations of its standards of conduct, including “inappropriate physical conduct, abusive or threatening behaviour, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”
The actor reportedly would have an opportunity to provide a written response, before the board takes a decision about whether to take any disciplinary action against him, such as suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions. Take a look at the complete statement by the Academy (via Variety):
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 recognized we could have handled the situation differently.
Notably, post the Oscars 2022 ceremony, on Monday evening, a letter from Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson went out to the entire membership. The administration shared their “outrage” regarding Smith’s actions and how it “overshadowed” the success of winning films like
Story first published: Thursday, March 31, 2022, 10:01 [IST]