Leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences met with Hollywood star Will Smith to discuss his attack on comedian Chris Rock.
According to ‘Variety’, Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson on Tuesday talked to the actor on Zoom about the fallout from the assault during Sunday’s Oscars telecast.
The talk lasted for roughly 30 minutes, according to a source.
Another source familiar with the meeting said only that the conversation was “brief”.
Smith apologised again to Rubin and Hudson for his action, expressed his awareness that there would be consequences and tried to explain why he snapped when Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Pinkett Smith has said she suffers from hair loss due to alopecia.
Attendees at an emergency meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Wednesday did not recall Rubin or Hudson mentioning their talk with Smith on the previous day.
Following that meeting, the Academy announced that Smith had violated the group’s code of conduct and faced “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions.”
The Academy also said it asked Smith to leave the ceremony following the incident, but he refused.
Others disputed the characterisation of events, with sources saying the Academy’s request was not explicitly made and that producer Will Packer urged the actor to remain, ‘Variety’ previously reported.
Smith went on to win best actor for his performance in ‘King Richard’.
He gave a five-minute speech in which he seemed to liken his behaviour to his character Richard Williams’ defence of his daughters, tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams.
“Love will make you do crazy things,” he said.
“To do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s okay.”
Smith did not apologise to Rock on Sunday but did offer an apology in a statement on Monday.