Academy Starts Disciplinary Proceedings Against Will Smith, Expulsion on the Table

Days after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Oscars telecast, the Board of Governors held an emergency meeting to discuss the best actor winner’s consequences. He faces “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted.”

The statement coming from the Academy is highly damning, citing the standards of conduct and Smith’s violations of “inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”

Smith, who won the Oscar for best actor for “King Richard” has been given 15 days notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and has the opportunity to provide a written response. The next board meeting is scheduled for April 18, when the Academy may take disciplinary action.

One notable new bit of information is the Academy stating they asked Will Smith to leave the Dolby Theatre but Smith refused to do so. One of the biggest bits of scrutiny regarding the handling of the moment was Smith not being removed from the Dolby Theatre. The Academy has offered clarification saying Smith was asked to leave but refused. “We also recognize we could have handled the situation differently,” the Academy statement read.

The organization also offered a formal apology to comedian Chris Rock, the other nominees who attended the ceremony and the viewers at home and in person who witnessed the event. The letter states “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.”

The Academy released a statement:

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.

(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety

Academy Starts Disciplinary Proceedings Against Will Smith, Expulsion on the Table

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