Will Smith Was "Asked to Leave the Oscars and Refused," Academy Says

The Academy has launched disciplinary proceedings.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
(Image credit: Getty)

Much has been said about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday night, and it seems we'll be hearing about the incident from a variety of perspectives for a while yet.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, has announced the launch of "disciplinary proceedings" against Smith, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In a statement, the Academy explained that the King Richard actor violated their code of conduct, "including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy." Their proceedings will determine how Smith is reprimanded.

"Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated," the Academy said. "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."

The proceedings were launched on March 30 during a Board of Governors meeting. One anonymous board member told THR, "I think everyone unanimously feels what he did was out of control." They continued, "People want real consequence. Every member of every branch is reaching out to all their governors. It was an assault—and not only a physical assault, but an assault on the community."

The Academy had previously sent out a letter to its members on Tuesday, condemning Smith's actions. The Reporter published the full letter, which read in part:

"Sunday’s telecast of the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year. We are upset and outraged that those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior on stage by a nominee.

"To be clear, we condemn Mr. Smith’s actions that transpired Sunday night.

"As outlined in our bylaws, the Academy’s Board of Governors will now make a determination on appropriate action for Mr. Smith."

Smith has apologized for his behavior towards Rock, which was in response to a bad joke in reference to his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.