Academy to investigate Will Smith incident at Oscars

(CNN) — The leadership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement condemning the actions of Will Smith, winner of the Best Actor award, after the protagonist of “King Richard” stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday.

“The Academy condemns Mr. Smith’s actions at last night’s ceremony,” the statement said. “We have initiated a formal review of the incident and will explore action and consequences under our statutes, code of conduct, and California law.”

Earlier Monday, CNN received reports that the Academy had “strongly considered” removing Smith from the Oscars following the incident, according to sources familiar with the matter.

“Academy management strongly considered removing Will Smith from last night’s broadcast following the incident. Discussions ensued immediately, but the Academy’s decision makers were seated in various parts of the Dolby Theater and could not be mobilized to make decisions.” a decision before he took home the Best Actor award,” the source said.

Smith apologized to the Academy and the other nominees in his acceptance speech for the Best Actor award.

After the ceremony, the Academy tweeted a short statement about the incident on stage.

“The Academy does not condone violence of any kind. Tonight we are thrilled to celebrate the winners of the 94th Academy Awards, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and from movie lovers.” around the world,” the statement said.

What do you think about Will Smith’s reaction? Divided opinions in Hollywood 2:43

Meeting to discuss Will Smith’s behavior

At least a dozen Academy members met virtually Monday morning to discuss a response to Will Smith’s behavior at Sunday’s ceremony, according to two sources familiar with the meeting’s content.

The members came together of their own volition and are described as influential and well-known members of the Academy, but do not have a disciplinary power. The meeting was described as “heated” and “divided” and no consensus was reached on the steps to be taken, according to the sources.

It is unclear if the Academy’s leadership plans to meet to discuss this unprecedented situation. CNN has contacted the Academy for further comment.

The Board of Governors of the Academy has the power to take disciplinary action against members who violate its code of conduct through a vote of suspension or expulsion from the Academy.

Chris Rock chose not to press charges against Smith for the on-stage altercation, according to reports from the Los Angeles Police Department.

CNN has contacted Smith’s representatives for comment.

The Academy is made up of Hollywood actors and producers of which more than 9,000 members have voting rights.

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