The identities of the two Academy Awards officials who told Will Smith to leave The Oscars ceremony after slapping Chris Rock are revealed. The news came out earlier today that Will Smith was asked to leave the Dolby Theater Sunday night, but he ultimately refused the request and remained in the crowd to later receive his first Oscar win for Best Actor in King Richard. According to TMZ, David Rubin, the President of the Academy, and Dawn Hudson, the CEO, were the two individuals who requested the actor to leave.
Sources claim both Rubin and Hudson were “furious” at Smith, with his representatives having to try and calm the situation down backstage while the event carried on. There were reports of “yelling” and “heated conversations” which left the Academy officials “apoplectic.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has begun “disciplinary proceedings” to deal with the fallout from the physical altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock. Possible actions include suspension and expulsion for Smith.
A statement from the Academy can be seen in its entirety 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.
Photo credit Neilson Barnard via Getty Images