Arts & Entertainment

Academy investigates Will Smith for Oscar slap

Los Angeles, Mar 30 (EFE).- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday that it launched disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock on stage during the Oscars.

“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 institution said in a statement.

The actor could face “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct,” the Academy said.

Smith climbed onto the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles after Rock, a comedian serving as a presenter, quipped that the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, resembled the character portrayed by Demi Moore in the film “G.I. Jane.”

Pinkett Smith, herself an actor, suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss.

“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,” the Academy said Sunday.

The statement revealed that Smith had refused a request from organizers to leave the ceremony after the incident.

Minutes after slapping Rock, Smith returned to the stage to accept the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard” and he took the opportunity to apologize for his behavior, though without mentioning the comedian’s name.

The Academy’s statement followed comments by Wanda Sykes, one of the three co-hosts of Sunday night’s gala, expressing astonishment that Smith had been allowed to remain at the ceremony.

“And for them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message.’ You assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building and that’s it. For them to let him continue, I thought it was gross,” Sykes said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Smith apologized to Rock in an Instagram post on Monday.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” the actor wrote. “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.” EFE romu/dr

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