“Got a letter from @TheAcademy today addressing members about the events on Sunday and how they are proceeding,” the actress tweeted. “No explanation of why no one stepped in to assist Chris Rock in the aftermath; why he was abandoned by producers and The Academy, and expected to just carry on.”
The 52-year-old’s call-out came a day after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that Smith was asked to leave Sunday’s ceremony after hitting the presenter, but refused to do so.
The academy’s board of governors met Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the 53-year-old for violations of the group’s standards of conduct. The academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
Many have focused on why Smith was allowed to remain seated front row in the Dolby Theatre after the incident. On Wednesday, the Academy suggested that it attempted to remove the actor from the audience.
“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the academy said. “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.”
A representative for the Academy declined to give specifics on how it tried to remove Smith. After Smith struck Rock in response to a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, several stars, including Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry, spoke with Smith.
Within an hour, Smith was back on stage accepting the award for best actor for his performance in “King Richard.” Many in the Dolby Theatre gave him a standing ovation.
The Academy said Smith has the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again on April 18. The Academy earlier condemned Smith’s onstage assault of Rock, but it used stronger language Wednesday.
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the Academy said. “Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience at that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
Only a very small number of Academy members have ever been expelled, including Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and the actor Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out for sharing awards screeners.
Tensions escalated on Sunday during the Oscars when Rock, 57, made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved hairstyle ahead of introducing the best documentary nominees.
Pinkett Smith, 50, revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The joke missed, badly.
Her husband walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “G.I. Jane” joke – and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f—-ing mouth,” and the crowd hushed as it became clear this was no act.
Following the altercation, spokespeople for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
On Monday, Smith issued an apology on Instagram, saying he was “out of line” and that his actions “are not indicative of the man I want to be.”
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” wrote Smith. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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.”
The star added apologies to the Academy, producers of the telecast, attendees, viewers and the Williams family. Smith was honored Sunday for his role as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.
“I am a work in progress,” added Smith.