Following his onstage slap of Chris Rock on Sunday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed on Wednesday that the actor Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars event; however, Smith declined.
According to the Academy, “things transpired in a manner that we could not have predicted,” in a statement announcing that disciplinary procedures against Mr. Smith had been instituted against him. In addition to stating that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the event and refused, we acknowledge that our actions may have been more appropriate in some circumstances.
Mr. Rock used a sold-out comedy event in Boston to make his first public remarks about the incident since Mr. Smith slapped him during the live worldwide broadcast of the Academy Awards. Mr. Rock’s initial public statements came shortly after the disclosure.
Celebrities from the entertainment industry have spoken out against the event since it occurred on Sunday, both those associated with and those not associated with the awards presentation. Mr. Rock, who was 57 at the time, had not been one of them. It wasn’t until his gig on Wednesday evening that the renowned stand-up and actor-director shared his thoughts on the situation in public.
Standing ovations greeted Mr. Rock’s arrival, and once audience members took their seats, they rose up once again. This prompted the comic to attempt to calm them so that he could begin his show.
While acknowledging that he did not have much to say about what had occurred, he addressed the elephant in the room. For those who were interested in hearing it, “I wrote a whole performance prior to this weekend,” he said.
It was one of the few things that was praised in the aftermath of a horrific moment: Mr. Rock remained onstage after being hit, remarked to the astonished crowd that “it had to be the greatest night in the history of television,” and carried on with the programme as if nothing had happened.
The Los Angeles Police Department said immediately after the event that the individual involved — presumed to be Mr. Rock — had “declined to submit a police complaint,” according to the department.
Mr. Smith, 53, was asked to leave the school, according to the institution’s announcement after a board of governors meeting on Wednesday to review the event. This week, two industry people with knowledge of the incident said that there had been serious conversations about removing Mr. Smith from the theatre, but they did not state that he had been asked to leave. The request was made anonymously by the group.
According to two persons who attended the board of governors meeting on Wednesday, the two and a half-hour discussion was “emotional,” as the governors relayed the views of their constituents from all sections of the film business. According to those who were in attendance, the sense in the room was that they had a duty “to not normalise violence,” according to two governors who requested anonymity to discuss a private conference they had attended.
After Mr. Rock made a joke about his wife’s chopped hair, Mr. Smith responded by leaving his seat in the crowd and hitting him across the face, before telling him — using expletives — not to mention his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Mrs. Pinkett Smith suffers from Alopecia, which causes her hair to fall out often, prompting her to constantly buzz her hair.)
Mr. Smith was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the title character in “King Richard.” The Academy and his fellow nominees received his apology, but he did not express any regrets toward Mr. Rock, whom he referred to as “a defiant protector of others” in his address. Mr. Smith issued an apology to Mr. Rock in a public statement the following day, after the Academy denounced his behaviour and launched an investigation.
The dramatic onstage incident quickly sparked a nationwide discussion over who was to blame, as well as queries about why Mr. Smith had not been charged after punching a television presenter while on live television broadcast.