The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has finally deliberated on Will Smith’s infamous slapping of Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars and has agreed to ban the recent Oscar winner for 10 years.
What does this ban mean?
Following The Academy’s decision, Will Smith is barred from attending any event hosted by The Academy, include the annual prestigious Oscars, until 2033.
If you think about the numerous possible punishments, which include but aren’t limited to a retrieval of the actor’s recent Best Actor Oscar award win for his inspiring role in King Richard, or a ban from being nominated for any of his future works till further notice, I believe a ban from attending events hosted by The Academy feels like a slap on the wrist. It could’ve been much worse, even though it always seemed unlikely.
“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,” wrote president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in a letter.
In a brief statement to Hollywood trade publications, Smith said: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Read the full statement below:
“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.
“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
“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.
“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.”