Actor Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars and refused after slapping comedian Chris Rock in the face for joking about his wife, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Wednesday, according to the New York Post.
The Academy also admitted it could have “handled the situation differently,” according to a report by The New York Post.
Academy executives President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson were in hysterics over the slap, according to TMZ.
“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 said.
Smith’s outburst occurred after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada. He implied that her bald hairstyle made her look like G.I. Jane. (RELATED: Will Smith Hits Chris Rock During The Oscars)
The organization is currently weighing disciplinary measures for the “Pursuit of Happyness” actor for his aggression on stage. (RELATED: Academy Signals Will Smith Could Lose Oscar Over Slapping Incident)
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review…and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) March 28, 2022
There are reported deliberations within the academy to potentially strip Smith of his recent award which he won this year for his role in “King Richard.”
Other punishments on the table “could include expulsion, suspension, or other sanctions,” according to the Post.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 30, 2022
Since the altercation, Smith has since apologized to Rock. (RELATED: Shannon Sharpe: ‘I Would Have Whooped Will Smith’s Ass)
The Academy stated that Smith will be able to defend himself in writing before the board meets again on April 18 when the outburst is expected to be on the agenda, according to the outlet.