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Whoa: It Turns Out Will Smith Was Asked, Refused to Leave Oscars After He Slapped Chris Rock

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has revealed that they have started "disciplinary proceedings" against Will Smith, according to a statement covered by  Beatrice Verhoeven at The Hollywood Reporter. Smith had slapped fellow actor Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday night, after Rock made a "G.I. Jane" joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia. 


"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," the statement said.

The Academy also revealed that Smith was asked to leave following the slap, though the actor refused. "Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently," the statement also read.

A short time after he slapped Rock, Smith was awarded Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in "King Richard." Although he tearfully apologized during his acceptance speech, he did not mention Rock by name. Smith also likened himself to Williams. 

Smith will receive 15 days notice of a vote and an opportunity to be heard via written response at the next board meeting which is scheduled for April 18. Among actions that the Academy could include "suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct."

Twitter was abuzz on Sunday night with the slap, with many pointing out that the Academy had not done enough. They did issue a tweet offering "The Academy does not condone violence of any form," though many mocked it, offering that by not doing anything about it, that was condoning such violence.


Smith released an apology over Instagram on Monday, which did mention Rock by name. Chris Rock's brother, Tony Rock, took fan questions over Twitter on Tuesday and said that he did not approve of the apology, and that they are "waiting" for Smith to reach out directly. 

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