Actor Will Smith refused to leave the Oscars ceremony after he attacked Chris Rock, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday.
"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 statement said.
The Academy, the body that hands out the Oscars, said it had begun disciplinary proceedings against Smith, who was given the best actor award just minutes after the globally televised slap.
"The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Will 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.
"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," the statement said.
"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."