Two sides to the story?
As we know, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor caused a ruckus at the show on Sunday, March 27, after storming the stage to hit Rock when he cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss (which is caused by the autoimmune condition, alopecia.)
Amid the uproar of public backlash arguing that Smith should have been kicked out of the event, and stripped of his Best Actor title for King Richard, it was revealed that the actor "refused" to leave the event at the time.
"While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused," the Academy wrote in their statement, while acknowledging: "We also recognize we could have handled the situation differently."
However, insiders are now calling it BS, claiming that Smith was never asked to leave the Dolby Theater, despite the Academy's statement on Wednesday, March 30.
According to a report from TMZ, the I Am Legend star was backstage after the shocking slap when he was approached by officials from the event who had "various discussions" during the commercial breaks about the possibility of Smith being escorted out of the theater, but sources claim there was never a final decision.
Oscars producer Will Packer was also heard walking up to Smith roughly 35 minutes after the onstage incident, where he told the actor: "We do not want you to leave," according to insiders.
Smith was awarded with the prestigious Best Actor award just five minutes after his conversation with Packer, per the outlet.
In the initial statement on Wednesday, the Academy noted that "Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television," while apologizing to Rock, who was presenting an award at the show when he was accosted by Smith.
"Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment."
The Pursuit of Happyness star has since issued an apology, calling his actions "unacceptable and inexcusable."
As for Rock, he broke his silence on the matter on Wednesday night while performing his stand-up routine in Boston, Mass., where he told the audience he was "still kind of processing" what happened to him on stage.