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Will Smith's Oscars slap prompts academy disciplinary proceedings, star reportedly refused to leave ceremony

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has launched “disciplinary proceedings” against will-smith” target=”_blank”>Will Smith< at the events Sunday.

“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,” a statement obtained by Fox News Digital says.

“Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.” 

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Penalties from the academy range from “suspension, expulsion or other sanctions permitted by the bylaws and standards of conduct.”

Many have focused on why Smith was allowed to remain seated in the front row at the Academy Awards after the incident. On Wednesday, the academy said it attempted to remove the actor from the audience.

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“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.”

A representative for the academy declined to give specifics on how it tried to removed Smith. After Smith struck Rock in response to a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith, several stars, including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry spoke to the 53-year-old Smith.

Bradley Cooper comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Bradley Cooper comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood Sunday, March 27, 2022.
(Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times)

The academy said Smith has the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again April 18. The film academy earlier condemned Smith’s onstage assault of Rock, but it used stronger language Wednesday.

“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.”

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Smith has since publicly apologized to Rock after he slapped the comedian during the Oscars Sunday evening.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in part on Instagram before publicly apologizing to Rock. “I was out of line and I was wrong.”

Will Smith apologizes for slapping Chris Rock over joke about Jada Pinkett Smith Video

“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’s full statement: “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.”

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“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.

Chris Rock seen for the first time since the Oscars incident with Will Smith Sunday evening. Rock enters the Wilbur Theater in Boston for the first of his two sold-out performances March 30, 2022.

Chris Rock seen for the first time since the Oscars incident with Will Smith Sunday evening. Rock enters the Wilbur Theater in Boston for the first of his two sold-out performances March 30, 2022.
(Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“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.

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“I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.”

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while Rock presented the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while Rock presented the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Rock was spotted Tuesday for the first time since Sunday night staying at a Boston-area hotel as he prepares to perform at The Wilbur Wednesday night.

Reps for Smith did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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