Will Smith Facing Disciplinary Action From Academy for "Shocking, Traumatic" Chris Rock Smack at Oscars

The Academy has started disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith for violating the Academy's Standards of Conduct after the Best Actor winner smacked presenter Chris Rock during Sunday's Oscars broadcast. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday it's weighing disciplinary action against Smith, including suspension or expulsion from the Academy, for striking the comedian over a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The instantly-infamous incident occurred live during the 94th Academy Awards, where Smith won his first Oscar for his portrayal of the tennis coach father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.

In an AMPAS statement, the Academy said its Board of Governors convened Wednesday to begin disciplinary proceedings against Smith. Calling Smith's actions a "deeply shocking, traumatic event," the statement notes Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but refused. 

Read the statement in full below: 

The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy's Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.

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. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.

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. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.

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.

Following Sunday's ceremony, the Academy on Monday stated that it "does not condone violence of any form" and launched a formal review around the incident. Rock declined to press charges against Smith, according to the LAPD, and Smith issued an apology to Rock over Instagram.  

"Violence in all of its form is poisonous and destructive," reads Smith's statement published one day after he attacked Rock. "My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable."

Smith's statement continued, "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."