Will Smith banned from attending Oscars for 10 years

Actor Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars or any other Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events for 10 years, as a consequence of his slapping comedian and host Chris Rock during the live telecast on March 27. 

The academy decided at a board meeting Saturday that for 10 years from April 8, 2022, Smith will not be permitted to attend the Oscars ceremony.

The board meeting was originally scheduled for April 18 but was moved up when Smith resigned from the film academy on April 1.

“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,” the board of governors said in a letter.

“Unacceptable and harmful”

“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.

“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,” The board wrote in a statement.

“We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast,” they continued.

“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. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted,” they went on.

Smith accepts decision

Smith was accepting of the board’s decision. “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” he said in a brief statement.

He has been apologetic since the incident happened. When he resigned, he said, “I have directly responded to the academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, 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.”

He also apologized during the ceremony when he accepted an Oscar for his lead role in King Richard, and again to Rock directly on Twitter.

“Change takes time, and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” Smith added.

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