HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (WTVO) — Actor Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars ceremony or any Academy event for 10 years after he slapped comedian Chris Rock during the live telecast.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors accepted Smith’s resignation last week.
Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson released the following 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; 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.
David Rubin and Dawn Hudson
Last Friday, Smith released a statement saying he would “fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
Smith loses voting privileges with his resignation. But there are other, less tangible benefits to being part of the academy, Hollywood’s most prestigious organization: It bestows industry credibility on its members. It’s invitation only, and with a once-a-year membership review.
Had he been expelled, Smith would have joined a small group of men removed from the academy: Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and the actor Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out for sharing awards screeners.
Smith strode from his front-row Dolby Theatre seat on to the stage and smacked Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Moments later, he went on to win the best actor award for his role in “King Richard.”
Rock, who was about to present Oscar for best documentary, declined to file charges when asked by police. He has only briefly addressed the attack publicly, saying at one comedy concert in Boston this week that he was still “kind of processing what happened.”
Smith stunned Rock, the theater crowd and viewers at home when he took the stage after Rock joked: “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”
Pinkett Smith, who has spoken publicly about her hair loss condition, alopecia, had a closely shaved head similar to that of Demi Moore in the original movie.
After Smith’s attack, he returned to his seat and angrily twice shouted at Rock to “get my wife’s name out your (expletive) mouth.” When Smith took the stage again less than hour later to accept his Oscar, he tearfully apologized to the academy but notably omitted any mention of Rock.
The fallout was immediate and intense. Smith had supporters for coming to his wife’s defense, but he was widely condemned for responding with violence and for marring both his long-sought Oscar victory and overshadowing the night’s other winners.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.