The case against Will Smith might be getting worse.
Although he publicly apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Oscars on Monday night, things got a little bit sketchy when Rock’s brother, Troy Rock, said that the “King Richard” actor never received out to them privately to apologize.
On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences released a statement on Wednesday, saying that they had asked Smith to leave before he had received his Oscar… and he had refused.
Will Smith ‘Was Asked To Leave The Ceremony And Refused’
In a short statement shared by AP News, the Academy said, “Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. 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.”
It is not clear how they asked Smith to leave or if there was security present. Smith was sitting in the front row of the Dolby Theatre alongside his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. After Rock made a joke about his wife’s auto-immune disease that causes hair loss (alopecia), Smith shouted “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth” and stormed the stage to strike the actor.
Several stars have reportedly spoken with the actor immediately after the incident, including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, and Tyler Perry.
Will Smith Will Have An Opportunity To Defend Himself Before The Board Reconvenes
The Academy is currently exploring what disciplinary actions it plans to take in regards to Smith’s outburst. Suspension and expulsion seem to be the chief two measures on the table. On an episode of “The View” aired earlier this week, Whoopi Goldberg, who is a member of the academy’s board of governors, said that, although they were not going to ask Smith to return his Oscar, “nobody is okay with what happened.”
It should be noted that only a few Academy members have only been expelled, including Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, and Carmine Caridi.
The “Pursuit of Happiness” actor will have a chance to defend himself in a written statement before the board reassembles on April 18. Although they said that they do not condone violence in a tweet shortly after the incident, they used stronger language in their most recent statement.
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the Academy said. “Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests, and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
Will Smith Apologizes To Chris Rock: ‘I Was Out Of Line’
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Smith began the post by saying, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.”
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he continued. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. 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.”
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” he went on. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
“I am a work in progress,” he concluded. “Sincerely, Will.”
Rock has declined to press charges against Smith, although he still could do so at a later date. On early Monday morning, the LAPD released a statement confirming that they had discussed the possibility of pressing charges with Rock.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” a spokesperson from the department said. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”