In The Know

Academy bans Will Smith from the Oscars for 10 years

Associated Press/Chris Pizzello

Will Smith is reportedly banned from attending any Academy events for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars over a joke the comedian made about the “King Richard” actor’s wife.

The Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the decadelong ban on Friday, according to multiple reports, roughly two weeks after the shocking altercation at the 94th annual Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

The Academy Awards, the Board said in a statement, 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.”

Smith, 53, took to the stage after Rock cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and struck the comedian. The performer then returned to his seat and yelled at a seemingly stunned Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth!”

Minutes later, Smith ascended the stage again to accept his best actor trophy for his performance in “King Richard,” receiving a standing ovation.

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry,” the statement from the Academy said. “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.”

The statement from the Academy made no mention of rescinding Smith’s Oscar or preventing him from future nominations or wins.

During his ban, the group said, Smith would “not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.”

The Academy thanked Rock in its statement, saying he maintained his composure “under extraordinary circumstances.”

The 57-year-old comic has not publicly addressed the confrontation at length, saying during a standup show shortly after the Oscars that he was still “processing” the event.

Smith reacted to the Academy’s ban on Friday, telling ITK in a statement, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” 

The performer announced earlier this month that he was resigning from the Academy, shortly after it announced it would begin disciplinary proceedings against him.  

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” Smith said in a statement at the time, calling his actions “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

The Academy called Smith’s ban a “step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust” in the group.

“We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted,” it said.

—Updated at 4:35 p.m.

Tags Chris Rock Will Smith

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