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Will Smith refused to leave Oscars, faces disciplinary action for slapping Chris Rock


Will Smith (R) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, March 27, 2022.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Will Smith was asked to leave the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony Sunday after slapping presenter Chris Rock, but refused, according to a new statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wednesday.

The organization behind the Oscars said its board of governors have initiated a disciplinary proceeding against Smith for violating the group’s standards of conduct. During the board’s next meeting on April 18 it will decide what action it will take, if any, including suspension or expulsion.

“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” The Academy said in its statement. “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.”

Read the full statement from 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.

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.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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