Film Academy Ripped for Saying Will Smith Was Asked to Leave Oscars But ‘Refused’

Will Smith won an Oscar on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Credit: Shutterstock)

The Will Smith versus Chris Rock Oscars saga has more turns than Laurel Canyon (people in L.A. know what that means).

In the latest twist, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement Wednesday, saying Smith was asked to leave the Dolby Theatre after slapping Rock, but “refused.”

The Academy released that tidbit as it began disciplinary hearings on Smith and a possible suspension, expulsion or other sanctions based on the group’s code of conduct.

In a statement to several media outlets, the organization said about Slapgate: “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.”

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The Academy didn’t offer specifics on when Smith was told it was time to go. Instead of exiting the Hollywood venue,  the actor remained at the ceremony and gave a tearful speech after picking up his best actor Oscar for King Richard.

Regardless of the Academy’s latest version of events, many entertainment insiders were skeptical and called the organization out on Twitter.

Comedian, actress and writer Marsha Warfield tweeted: “A– covering bullsh-t. If they had wanted him to leave he wouldn’t have had a choice.”

Sports radio host Carrington Harrison added: “Maybe I’m crazy but if the Academy asked Will Smith to leave and he refused why wasn’t this stated in their original statement? It’s Wednesday.”

While The Hollywood Reporter critic Daniel Fienberg tweeted: “Truthfully, the only thing more perplexing than the Academy NOT asking Will Smith to absent himself from the room is the Academy asking him to leave, him saying ‘Nah’ and the Academy saying, ‘Fair enough.'”

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Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock at Oscars (Credit: ABC)
Smith slapped Rock at the Oscars (Credit: ABC)

The Smith-Rock-Oscars saga unfolded after the comedian cracked a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock ventured off topic as he presented the best documentary award, and suggested Pinkett Smith would star in a sequel to “G.I. Jane” due to her bald head. Pinkett Smith has been open about having alopecia, which causes hair loss.

In response to the joke, Smith stormed the stage, slapped Rock in front of a global TV audience and said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”

The next day, Smith apologized to Rock and the Academy, saying: “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.”

As for Will’s future in the Academy, the group plans to hold another meeting on April 18 to determine its next course of action.