- Following Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, the Academy’s Board of Governors has banned the actor from events for the next 10 years.
- The Academy called Smith’s behavior “unacceptable” and expressed “gratitude” to Rock for how he handled the incident.
- Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1.
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences voted on April 8 to ban the King Richard actor from all Academy events for the next decade, multiple outlets are reporting.
Academy votes to ban Will Smith from events for the next decade
Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1. However, the organization’s board nonetheless decided to move forward with a formal ban.
“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,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson wrote in a letter shared with members (via Deadline).
Smith assaulted Rock on stage at the Oscars after the Fargo star made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Pinkett Smith has alopecia and has spoken publicly about her struggles with the condition.
Academy apologizes for the way the incident was handled, expresses ‘gratitude’ to Chris Rock
The letter noted that the 2022 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.”
In the letter, Rubin and Hudson expressed “deep gratitude” to Rock for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.” They also apologized for how the incident was handled during the live broadcast.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” they wrote. “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.”
Will Smith will not be a presenter at the 2023 Academy Awards
Smith’s ban means he will not be a presenter at the 2023 Academy Awards. However, it does not mean he cannot be nominated or win an Oscar in the future, Variety noted.
Traditionally, the previous year’s best actor winner presents the award in the best actress category the following year. Smith, who was nominated for playing Richard Williams in King Richard, took home the trophy for actor in a leading role shortly after the now-infamous slap. In a tearful acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy and to his fellow nominees, though not to Rock specifically. (He later apologized to the comedian in a March 28 Instagram post.)
“Love will make you do crazy things,” Smith said as he accepted his award, adding, at the end of his speech, “I hope the Academy invites me back.”
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