“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for breaching the Academy’s standards of conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior and undermining the integrity of the Academy,” the organization behind the Oscars said in a statement.
The statement also claims Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after the incident “and declined.” The Academy said it recognizes “we could have handled the situation differently”.
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards were a deeply shocking and traumatic event to witness in person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience at that time,” the statement added. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what happened at what should have been a celebratory event.”
Another board meeting is scheduled for April 18, at which time “the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the bylaws and standards of conduct,” the statement said.
“Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith receives at least 15 days’ notice for a vote regarding his violations and penalties, and an opportunity to be heard beforehand at means of a written response,” the statement said.
CNN has reached out to Smith’s representatives for comment.
Still the talk of the town
The Academy’s strong statement comes as the conversation about the slap heard around the world showed no signs of cooling.
“I was out of place and I was wrong,” he wrote in part. “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.”
It came as much criticism was leveled at the Academy for its handling of the Sunday night incident.
Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on her talk show that she thought Smith should have been escorted out.
“For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘This is disgusting, this is just the wrong message,'” she said. declared.