The Academy is initiating "disciplinary proceedings" after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, Deadline reports. The almost 50 Governors voted unanimously to pursue the matter further.
It was also revealed that Smith was asked to exit the Dolby Theater after slapping Rock for joking about Jada Pinkett-Smith's shaven head and he declined to leave.
Addressing the incident, the Academy released a statement today with their findings.
“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 read.
“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,” the statement continued. “At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. 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,” the statement went on. “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 recognize we could have handled the situation differently.
Smith would be facing up to six months in jail and a $100,000 fine if found guilty of the misdemeanor charge of assault.
Rock has up to six months to decide to file a police report, although he initially declined to press charges.