Academy reveals Will Smith ‘was asked to leave the ceremony but refused’ after slapping Chris Rock

Since everyone from Jim Carrey to Wanda Sykes has questioned why Will Smith was not escorted out after beating Chris Rock during the Oscars, the academy has now said in a statement that Will actually refused to leave the venue. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has now started a process that could lead to the actor, who won the award for best actor, being excluded from the group. Also read: Oscar host Wanda Sykes reveals that Chris Rock apologized to her after slapgate: “It was supposed to be your night”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement, “Things were evolving in a way we could not have foreseen. Although we would like to clarify that Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also realize that we could have handled the situation is different. “

The Academy said it was initiating a process that could lead to disciplinary action against Will for breach of its standard of conduct, “including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and jeopardizing the Academy’s integrity.” Suspension, expulsion or other sanctions may be approved at its next board meeting on April 18.

According to the Academy’s rules, Will has the chance to give a written answer before the group takes action. In its statement, the academy apologized to Chris Rock and thanked him for “patience at that moment.”

During the live broadcast, Will took to the stage after Chris joked about the appearance of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and slapped the comedian in the face. Chris had referred to the 1997 film GI Jane in which the actor Demi Moore shaved his head. The actor returned to his seat and twice an obscenity shouted at him. Less than an hour later, Will accepted the trophy for best actor for his role in the film King Richard, which raised questions about why he had not been escorted out.

Will apologized to Chris, the academy and viewers in a statement on Monday, saying he was “out” and “reacting emotionally”.

Chris made his first public appearance on his stand-up show in Boston. He said he was still “processing” what was happening and would talk about it later. “It’s going to be serious. It’s going to be fun, but right now I’m gonna tell you some jokes,” he said.

(With Reuters inputs)

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