The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began “disciplinary proceedings” against actor Will Smith on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
The Academy also revealed that they asked Smith to leave the show but he refused to do so. As per the statement released by the Academy, Will Smith’s actions were said to be in violation of the Academy’s Standard of Conduct, “including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behaviour, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”
Will Smith is facing suspension, expulsion or any other sanction as the board deems fit in the next scheduled meeting of the Academy which will be on April 18, 2022.
In addition, the Academy will give Will Smith 15 days’ notice of a vote along with an opportunity to present his case in a written report before the vote.
The Academy in their statement said, “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.”
The statement did not elaborate on who from the Academy asked Smith to leave and the actor did not respond on this matter. The Academy also issued a direct apology to Chris Rock in the statement and apologised to the nominees, guests’ and the viewers as well.
Following the slap incident, the officers of the Board of Governors of the Academy had an emergency meeting on Monday (the next day) and the full Board was in attendance for a meeting on Wednesday.
According to one of the board members, the opinion of most of the Board was leaning towards Will Smith’s suspension or expulsion from the Academy. The member, who spoke to ‘THR’ on conditions of anonymity said, “I think everyone unanimously feels what he did was out of control. People want real consequence. Every member of every branch is reaching out to all their governors. It was an assault — and not only a physical assault, but an assault on the community.”
The person also stated that images of the actor and his family dancing and celebrating at the Oscar after-party, behaving as though nothing happened is a further discredit to Will Smith.
As reported by ‘THR’ here is the full statement of the Academy:
“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.”