Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars or any of its events for 10 years, following his slapping and yelling at Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony on March 27. He will retain the Oscar he won that evening, and will be eligible for future nominations and wins.
A letter was sent by the Academy's CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin, to their "Academy Family" this morning, saying the following:
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.
After the letter was issued, a statement was issued by Will Smith through his spokesperson saying, "I accept and respect the Academy's decision."
Photo Credit: Richard Harbaugh / A.M.P.A.S.