The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recently revealed that Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars ceremony after hitting Chris Rock but refused.
According to the Academy, they have also initiated “disciplinary proceedings” against the superstar, as per BBC.
Smith could face expulsion from the Academy for the slap, which was dished out moments before taking the stage again to receive the best actor award for his role in King Richard.
The announcement was greeted with cheers as this was the first time the actor had received an Oscar in his career, a monumental moment that was marred by the unfortunate incident moments before. The actor has since apologised.
Smith slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, a decision she made as she suffers from the hair loss condition alopecia.
“Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, [but] we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently,” the Academy indicated in a statement.
Action may be taken at the Academy’s next board meeting, which takes place on 18 April. “Suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions,” are currently on the table with regards to the incident.
In its statement, it directly apologised to Rock, the nominees, guests and viewers.
While the evening was marred by the altercation, the Oscars, which has been struggling to get viewers over the last few years, saw 600 000 viewers tune in to watch Smith’s acceptance speech.