Will Smith has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for 10 years after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Friday.
“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,” the organization said.
The Academy, which met virtually on Friday to discuss disciplinary action, said banning Smith was to protect performers and guests and restore trust in the Academy.
Comedian Rock was on stage to present the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars when he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, which is due to alopecia. Smith walked up on stage and hit Rock before going back to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
Smith later apologized during his best actor acceptance speech. Smith won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams in “King Richard”.
The Academy in its statement on Friday said that it did not “adequately address the situation in the room” at the time of the slap and had been “unprepared for the unprecedented”. It apologized for the incident while thanking 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,” the statement said.
Smith’s resignation means he will not be able to vote on future Oscars. He had already resigned from the Academy, saying that he had betrayed the trust of the organization and was heartbroken.
On Friday, the actor accepted his punishment for the slap. In a statement, Smith said: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”