In the aftermath of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences has announced today that Smith will be banned from all Academy events, including the Oscars ceremony, for a decade.
“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 said in a joint statement on Friday.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year;” the statement continues. “However, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behaviour we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.”
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” the letter explained. “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.”
In response, Smith delivered a short statement to press outlets: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” Smith had previously elected to resign from the Academy following the incident, which in turn made him ineligible to receive any nominations or awards at any future Oscars ceremonies until he elects to return.
Smith had also issued a formal apology to Rock, the Academy, and “all the attendees and everyone watching around the world” for his actions. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote. “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.”