Will Smith was excluded from the Oscars for 10 years because he slapped Chris Rock

Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

Published Friday, 8 April 2022 15:05 EDT

Last Updated on Friday, 8 April 2022, 16:21 EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday barred Will Smith from attending the Oscars or any other Academy event for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The move comes after a meeting of the academy board to discuss a response to Smith’s actions. It is unclear whether the ban will apply to future candidates.

“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many people in our community who did an incredible job last year. However, these moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior that we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage, “the academy said in a statement.

“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said in response. He resigned cautiously from the academy last week in preparation for the meeting, calling his actions “shocking, painful and unforgivable”.

The academy also apologized for handling the situation and for allowing Smith to stay and accept the Best Actor award for “King Richard.”

“During our TV show, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. “For that, we are sorry,” the academy said. “This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, the spectators and the family of our Academy around the world, and we were deprived – unprepared for the unprecedented. ”

Will Smith and Chris Rock

In a statement in the days following the Oscars, the academy said it had asked Smith to leave the ceremony but refused.

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But it is not clear how the message was delivered to Smith or in what form, and many media outlets reported that he was never officially told to leave the Dolby Theater. The Los Angeles Times reported in an article Thursday that Oscar-winning producer Will Packer told Smith: “Officially, we do not want you to leave. We want you to stay. “

The ban means that Smith will not present one of next year’s major Oscars, as is the tradition for the Best Actor winner.

The academy in a statement on Friday also expressed “deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for keeping him calm under exceptional circumstances.”

The academy statement did not consider whether Smith could be nominated for an Oscar during his 10-year ban. Nor did he take any action to revoke Smith’s Oscar.

The academy has not recalled the Oscars from the expelled members Harvey Weinstein or Roman Polanski.

With his resignation last week, Smith lost the ability to vote for candidates and winners.

At the March 27 Oscars, Rock came out to present the Oscar for Best Documentary and made jokes to many in attendance, including Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Janta, I love you. “GI Jane 2, I’m looking forward to seeing it,” Rock said.

Pinkett Smith, who has spoken publicly about hair loss, alopecia, had a well-shaven head similar to that of Demi Moore in the 1997 film.

Smith went from his seat in the front row to the stage and hit Rock, impressing the comedian, the theater crowd and the audience at home.

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Will Smith

Many thought it was a planned gag created by the show or the men themselves, but the seriousness of the situation arose when Smith returned to his seat and angrily shouted twice to Rock “to keep my wife’s name out of your mouth. ”

Rock said he had no interest in making charges when questioned by police behind the scenes.

Smith returned to the stage less than an hour later to accept his Oscar, apologizing to the academy, but mostly omitting any reference to Rock. He compared himself to Richard Williams, the man who played “King Richard,” “a tough defender of his family.”

Later that night, Smith danced with his trophy and family and rapped along to his own songs to celebrate his victory at the Vanity Fair after the Oscars.

Rock has only spoken briefly about the attack in public, saying at a comedy show in Boston this week that he was still “working out what happened.”

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