Will Smith will not be able to attend the Oscars in person for ten years after slapping Chris Rock in the face during the 94th Academy Awards show Sunday, March 27 following a joke Rock made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head amid her hair loss battle.
“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,” an “Open Letter to Our Academy Family” sent by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson and President David Rubin read, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” the letter added. “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.”
“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,” it continued. ” 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.”
Film Academy Bans Will Smith From Oscars Ceremony for 10 Years https://t.co/CfAGkD85yT
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 8, 2022
The letter goes on to express gratitude to Rock “for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances” and to thank “hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during” the telecast.
“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” the letter concluded. “We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”
Smith has since responded to the ban through a spokesperson who shared that he accepts and respects “the Academy’s decision,” the outlet noted.
As previously reported by the Daily Wire:
On Friday, the 54-member board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will decide whether to strip Best Actor winner Will Smith of his Oscar after the infamous incident at the ceremony where he slapped comedian Chris Rock, and according to one source within the Academy, not only are the 9,000 members of the Academy itself seriously split on the issue, but the board also is disunited about the decision.
The Academy’s decision did not involve stripping Smith of his first ever Oscar for his role in “King Richard” after he won the Best Actor at the Oscars and he remains eligible for Oscar nominations in the future and wins, the outlet noted.
As reported previously by the Daily Wire, Smith recently announced he had resigned from the Academy and admitted he was “heartbroken” about having to do so following “disciplinary proceedings” by the Oscars over the slap.
I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the 53-year-old actor shared in a statement, reported Deadline.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he added. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris [Rock], his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.”
“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” Smith continued. “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. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.
During Smith’s acceptance speech at the Oscars, he apologized to the Academy and to the other nominees, but didn’t appear to apologize to Rock. The actor apologized the next day to the comedian in a lengthy post on Instagram where he admitted that his actions were “out of line” and “wrong,” as previously reported by the Daily Wire.
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