Will Smith Responds To 10-Year Oscar Ban

Will Smith Responds To 10-Year Oscar Ban

Smith's action was in violation of the Academy's Standards of Conduct which led them to carry out disciplinary proceedings.

Will Smith will not be allowed to attend any of the events held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), including the Oscars, for the next 10 years. 


The Board of Governors made this announcement on Friday, April 8. In a statement, they also said, "We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. [Chris] 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." AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson added, "We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted."


Smith provided a brief response to the decision made by the Board which includes Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, Laura Dern, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rita Wilson, among others. "I accept and respect the Academy’s decision," he stated, as per Deadline. The academy had earlier released a statement that it has "initiated disciplinary proceedings" against the actor for slapping Rock on the stage of the award show. Smith's action was in violation of "the Academy's Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy."  


Rock was on stage presenting an award when he made an insensitive joke in reference to Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head. Jada had earlier publicly revealed that she suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes sudden hair loss. The joke provoked Smith to slap Rock and tell him to, "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth." A few minutes later, Smith won his first Oscar for Best Male Lead for his role in King Richard. As part of his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the Academy and the people present at the ceremony for his actions.

Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Additionally, he later released a public apology to Rock on Instagram. "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally." he wrote and added. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong." 


In another letter addressing the situation, he stated, "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."


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