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American News Mar 31, 2022 5:09 AM EST

REVEALED: Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars after he slapped Chris Rock—he refused

"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."

REVEALED: Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars after he slapped Chris Rock—he refused
Nick Monroe Cleveland, Ohio

Update: A report has revealed that at no point was Will Smith asked to leave the Oscars after running up on stage to slap host Chris Rock. In fact, it appears that the producer specifically told him he was fine to stay.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put out a formal statement about the Will Smith slap debacle on Wednesday that serves as a public apology to Chris Rock. But it also reveals the group asked Smith to leave the night of the incident.

A statement issued by the Academy read, "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."

Smith apologized to everyone except Rock during his acceptance speech that same evening after winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard. In an Instagram post the following day, the actor finally apologized to Rock.

Jim Carrey called Hollywood "spineless" and labeled Will Smith as "selfish."

Variety reported that the Board of Governors has opened a formal disciplinary inquiry into the incident for "...violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy."

The Academy gave the best actor winner 15 days' notice to provide a written response before the group’s next board meeting on April 18.

According to CNN, Academy leadership has indicated the search for "appropriate action" against Smith could take weeks.

On Sunday night, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. "Jada, I love you, GI Jane 2, can't wait to see it," Rock joked. Rock was referring to GI Jane actress Demi Moore, who shaved her head for the role. Pinkett Smith lost her hair due to alopecia.

The quip offended Smith enough that he got up on stage during the televised ceremony and slapped Rock across the face, before sitting back down.

Smith then shouted expletives at Rock, telling him to "...keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth."

Basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came out against Will Smith for having "perpetuated stereotypes" with his actions. Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, among hosts for the ceremony, have since expressed their reactions of horror and disgust to the incident.

Ticket prices for the Rock's comedy tour spiked after the incident, with shows selling out across the country.

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