“Things have unfolded in a way that we did not expect.”
Will Smith refused to leave the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday after comedian Chris Rock was slapped, according to the academy.
In a statement on Wednesday, the academy said, “Things have unfolded in a way that we did not expect.” “While we want to make it clear that Mr Smith was asked to leave the event and was rejected, we also acknowledge that we could have handled the situation differently.”
The academy further stated that its board of governors has initiated disciplinary action against Smith for “violating the academy’s standards of conduct, inappropriate physical contact, offensive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the academy.”
After comedian Jada Pinkett joked about Smith’s hair, Smith went to the Oscars stage on Sunday night and slapped Rock. Back in his seat, Smith then shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth,” twice.
Rock will present for Best Documentary and later in the evening Will Smith won Best Actor for his role in “King Richard”.
Smith apparently mentioned his conflict with Rock and apologized to the academy during his acceptance speech.
“I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said. “Art mimics life. I look like a crazy dad, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will force you to do crazy things.”
Smith formally apologized to the academy on his Instagram, saying, “I’m deeply sorry that my behavior has tarnished an otherwise beautiful journey for all of us.”
“All forms of violence are poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and unforgivable. Joking at my expense is part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Will Smith said. Added.
In response to Sunday night’s incident, some of the celebrities who attended the Oscars have come forward to discuss how they are still reeling from what happened.
Comedian Wanda Sykes, who co-hosted the Academy Awards, said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that she was “sick” of what had happened on stage.
“I felt terrible for my friend Chris,” Sykes said. “It was sick. I felt physically ill and I was still slightly hurt by it.”
“For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the ceremony and accept his reward, I was like, ‘How awful is that?’ This is just the wrong message, “he added. “You insult someone, you get out of the building, and that’s it.”
Now, the academy says it is giving Smith “an opportunity to hear in advance at least 15 days’ notice of a vote and a written response to his violation and prohibition.”
At their next board meeting on April 18, the academy said it could take disciplinary action, which could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
“Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you felt on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment,” the academy said in a statement. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and spectators for what should have been a celebration.”