ZB

Academy bombshell: Will Smith refused to leave Oscars, broke conduct code

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 31 Mar 2022, 12:41pm

Academy bombshell: Will Smith refused to leave Oscars, broke conduct code

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 31 Mar 2022, 12:41pm

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said that Will Smith was asked to leave Sunday's Oscars after hitting Chris Rock but refused. 

Many have questioned why Smith was allowed to remain seated front row at the Academy Awards after the incident. Now the academy has suggested that it attempted to remove the actor from the audience. 

"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 recognise we could have handled the situation differently." 

The academy's board of governors met Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group's standards of conduct. The academy said Smith has the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again on April 18. The academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions. 

The film academy earlier condemned Smith's onstage assault of Rock. But it used stronger language today. 

"Mr Smith's actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television," the academy said. "Mr Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event." 

On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the academy and to viewers. 

Smith wrote: "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour 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." 

He continued by calling his actions toward Rock "wrong" and admitting he was out of line. 

"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness." 

Smith then issued an apology to the Academy and also to the Williams family. 

"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. 
 
"I am a work in progress." 

- Associated Press