Will Smith ‘Refused’ The Academy’s Request That He Left After Slapping Chris Rock
Will Smith was asked to leave by The Academy shortly after winning his Oscar.
The 53-year-old King Richard actor, shortly before claiming his award for Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, assaulted Chris Rock as the comedian presented an award for Best Documentary.
Smith rose to the stage moments after Rock delivered a joke aimed towards the Bad Boys actors’ wife, Jada Pinkett Smith in regards to her alopecia diagnosis. Before anyone had an idea of what could unfold next, Will slapped Chris across the face leaving him, the audience and viewers at home in disbelief.
In a statement from The Academy, they say, “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 recognise we could have handled the situation differently.” also confirming that actions taken by the A-lister were not condoned by The Academy.
Furthering in their written letter, a meeting will take place on April 18 where a decision will be made as to a punishment for the violent act towards one of their guest presenters, detailing, “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.”
Ending their statement, it reads, “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologise to you for what you experience on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologise to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”