Will Smith receives a 10 year ban from the Academy Awards for slapping Chris Rock
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has barred, renowned actor Will Smith from attending the Academy’s event for 10 years following his Oscars night slap of comedian Chris Rock.
The Academy made this statement, which elicited mixed reactions, clear on Friday when they announced the actor’s ban, in which he will not be allowed to attend any event for a decade but will retain his title as best actor and will still be nominated for an award but will not attend any Academy ceremony in person.
The ban followed Will Smith’s slapping of comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The organization revealed in an open letter that “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,”.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” Smith stated in a statement however, Rock’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The announcement means that Smith will not be present to present the best actress trophy at next year’s Oscars ceremony, a tradition that the show’s producers have followed for many years. (This year, Anthony Hopkins, who won for his role in “The Father” last year, handed the best actress statuette to Jessica Chastain from “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”)
In a tearful acceptance speech, Smith had apologized to the academyan and had also apologized to his colleague actor and comedia Chris Rock in a statement the next day.
Smith wept as he accepted his Oscar for Best Actor on March 27th, following the slap.
‘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 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.
‘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.’
In a statement on Friday afternoon after the decision was reached, Smith told Deadline: ‘I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.’
He had already resigned from the Academy last Friday, removing the decision to revoke his membership from their hands, as it had done with Harvey Weinstein. Meanwhile, Smith’s wife, Jada, will be permitted to attend in-person events.