The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has begun disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith following his altercation with Chris Rock at this year's Oscar ceremony.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, the governing body for the Oscars said that they have begun the proceedings against 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."

The statement added that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after the incident and "refused."

The Academy added it acknowledges it "could have handled the situation differently."

The statement continued "Mr. Smith's actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television."

"Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment."

"We also apologise to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event."

The Academy board will meet on April 18th to discuss further action and further disciplinary action may be taken, up to, and including "suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct."

Per the Academy's Standards of Conduct and California law, "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 added.

Smith's altercation has become the defining moment of this years Oscars ceremony, overshadowing the historic win for 'CODA' in the process, and figures from the likes of Jim Carrey to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have weighed in on the incident.

Smith has apologised for the incident, 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," he said.