The Academy announced on Friday 8 April that the Hollywood actor will be banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years. This after he slapped comedian and host Chris Rock across the face for cracking a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, during the prestigious awards ceremony on 28 March in Los Angeles.
Smith — who will be allowed to keep his Best Actor award for his role in King Richard — has since accepted his punishment and said that he “respects” the Academy’s decision.
After the Oscar’s incident, Smith apologised publicly, but after a formal review, the Academy has decided to place a decade-long Oscars ban on the actor.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” a letter sent by Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson reads.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented,” the letter continued.
The statement concluded: “Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.”
WILL SMITH REACTS TO RULING
The Men in Black actor, on his part, accepted the Academy’s decision.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” he said in a statement to Page Six.
Fans and viewers were left in shock when Smith slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which is an auto-immune disease causing hair loss.
“Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me,” Rock exclaimed after the unexpected slap.
When Smith returned to his seat, he yelled at Rock to Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
‘I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris’
Since the event, he has formally apologised to Rock via Instagram.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. I would like to publicly apologise 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,” he wrote.
Smith resigns from Academy
A week after the Oscars, Smith resigned from the Academy.
According to US Weekly, the actor said in a statement that he “deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.
“I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”