Academy launches ‘disciplinary procedure’ against Will Smith over Oscar incident

“The Board of Directors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violating the Academy’s standards of conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and endangering the integrity of the Academy,” the organization behind the Oscars in a statement.

The statement also claims that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after the incident “and refused”. The Academy said it acknowledged that “we could have handled the situation differently”.

“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness personally and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience on that moment,” the statement added. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened during what should have been a celebratory event.”

Another board meeting will be held on April 18, at which time “the Academy may take disciplinary action, including suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by statute and standards of conduct,” the statement said.

“Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct and California law, Mr. Smith will be given at least 15 days’ notice to vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and will be given the opportunity to be heard in advance through a written response,” the statement said.

CNN has reached out to Smith’s representatives for comment.

Still the talk of the day

The Academy’s strong statement comes as the talk about the blow being heard around the world showed no signs of cooling.

Rock has remained publicly silent about the incident, so all eyes are on the start of his comedy tour, which kicks off Wednesday night in Boston.
Comedians Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer, two of the three presenters on Sunday night, also spoke out on Wednesday with strong messages of support for Rock, as did Rock’s brother.
Meanwhile, Smith has kept a low profile on social media since his lengthy apology on Monday.

“I was out of line and I was wrong,” he wrote in part. “I am ashamed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Smith’s apology, however, was not enough to stifle the reaction of the Academy leaders, who said they were “upset and outraged” in a letter to members on Wednesday.

This was because many criticized the Academy for handling the incident on Sunday night.

Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show that she felt Smith should have been escorted out.

“For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and take his award, I thought, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message,” she said.

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