More details are unfolding regarding the altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
The Academy has spoken up about the outburst and revealed that they asked Will Smith to leave the event and he “refused” following his onstage altercation with Chris Rock.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy shared in a statement to PEOPLE. “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 Academy also revealed insight into the course of action against Smith. “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,” reads the statement.
“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.”
In the statement, the Academy issued an apology to Rock as well as all guests and those tuning in from home. “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the statement began.
“Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment,” the statement says. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”