Will Smith “refused” to leave Oscars ceremony after blow, Academy says

Will Smith would have been escorted from the Oscars, but he declined, according to the Academy

After the King Richard actor walked onto the 2022 Oscar podium and hit Chris Rock in response to a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the Academy reportedly asked him to leave, the awards organization said in a statement obtained by E! News.

“Things unfolded in a way that we could not have foreseen,” the statement said. “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and declined, we also recognize that we could have handled the situation differently.”

The Academy also announced that the Board of Directors was initiating disciplinary proceedings to decide what the consequences of Will should be. According to the statement, Will “violated the Academy’s standards of conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and endangering the integrity of the Academy.”

Will will be given a vote on his actions at least 15 days in advance and the opportunity to provide a written response to defend himself and have a chance to be heard before a final decision is made. The meeting is currently scheduled for April 18.

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