Will Smith banned from Oscars for 10 years, Academy says

Will Smith was banned from winning an Oscar 10 years after that slapping Chris Rock during last month’s awards ceremony. The academy announced this on Friday in a letter sent by President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson to CBS News.

“The 94th Oscars were supposed to be a celebration of many individuals in our community who did an amazing job last year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” the letter said.

“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 letter said. “The Board has decided that for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith will not be allowed to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Oscars.”

Actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, March 27, 2022.

ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images

Rubin and Hudson also thanked Rock, who said he did still in processing what happened, because he “kept his composure in extraordinary circumstances.” They said that the Academy “did not adequately deal with the situation in the room”.

“Because of this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our academic family around the world, and we failed – unprepared for the unseen.”

Rubin and Hudson said the Academy’s decision to ban Smith was “a step toward a greater goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests and restoring trust in the Academy.”

Last week, Smith resigned from the Academy, apologizing to the Academy and Rock and saying he was “broken-hearted.” At the time, Rubin said the organization “accepted and accepted” Smith’s resignation and “will continue our disciplinary action against Mr. Smith for violating the Academy’s Code of Conduct.”

The slap, which shocked Hollywood, followed after Rock joked about Smith’s wife. Rock said that she is looking forward to the sequel to the movie “GI Jane” with Jada Pinkett Smith in the lead role, which is a reference to her shaved head. Pinkett Smith spoke publicly about hair loss due to autoimmune disease alopecia.

Smith then took the stage and slapped Rock, before returning to his seat and shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of my fucking mouth.” Rock refused to file a lawsuit, and the LAPD did nothing against Smith, although the incident sparked intense public debate about whether his actions were justified.

Smith’s decision to resign came days after the Academy said it did launched an official audit into his behaviorwhich included “inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and violation of the integrity of the Academy.”

Although it is possible that the Academy could return He won an Oscar for “King Richard” shortly after the slap, Whoopi Goldberg, who is a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors, said she would not take away his award.

Victoria Albert contributed to the reporting.

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