The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reported Wednesday that it opened disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith for slapping comedian Chris Rock after a joke about his wife Jada Smith during the Oscar Awards broadcast.
“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy,” the statement said.
The document also highlighted that the organization asked Smith to leave after what happened, but he refused to leave the auditorium. It was also learned that the actor will have 15 days to send a written response to the Academy and that the next meeting of the board is scheduled for April 18.
Will Smith apologized to the Academy
The Academy’s decision could conclude in suspension, expulsion or any other sanction allowed in the bylaws. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event,” the Academy added.
The situation comes after Will Smith issued a statement in which he apologized for punching Chris Rock. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith wrote in a post on Instagram.
In the post, Smith also referred to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he concluded.