Following the slap seen around the world, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors has decided to ban Will Smith from attending the Oscars for a period of ten years.
On Sunday, March 27, host Chris Rock made a “GI Jane Two” joke about the wife of Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, who recently shaved her head as she suffers from Alopecia, a condition where the body attacks hair follicles resulting in hair loss.
While Will Smith at first laughed at the joke, the actor then stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock in the face. Minutes later, Will Smith received the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard and received a standing ovation from the Hollywood crowd. Smith is also allowed to keep his Oscar award.
“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,” said AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson of Smith in a letter, adding, “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.”
You can read the full letter below.
Will Smith responded to the decision as follows: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Following his assault on Chris Rock, Will Smith apologized for his actions.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” said Smith. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”
MPAS President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson’s full letter to Academy members:
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.