U.S. actor Will Smith received the Best Actor award for “Leading Actor” on stage on March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California during the 94th Oscars.
Robin Beck | AFP | Getty Images
Will Smith has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next decade after slapping Chris Rock during a ceremony last month.
In a letter to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, Smith called Smith’s behavior “unacceptable” and said the recent Academy Award winner would not be allowed to attend any events or programs organized by the group for 10 years.
“We are taking this step today in response to Will Smith’s behavior, a step towards a larger goal of protecting our actors and guests and restoring confidence in the academy,” the academy wrote in a letter to members obtained by NBC News.
Initially, the academy’s board was set to convene on April 18 to discuss possible disciplinary action and to determine whether the actor should be banned or dismissed from the organization. However, Smith resigned from the academy in a public statement last week, calling his actions “tragic, painful and unforgivable.”
Smith confronts Rock on stage when he jokes about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s intimate hair, which has alopecia, a skin condition that can cause hair loss. After hitting Rock, Smith returned to his seat and shouted obscenely at his coworker.
The Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Smith at the awards ceremony Sunday, according to one of the show’s producers, but Rock refused to press charges. The academy said Smith refused to leave the show after hitting the comedian. However, there are conflicting reports about whether Smith was actually told to leave or whether he was advised to leave before calling his awards department.
Smith apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees during his acknowledgment speech, and apologized to Rock via social media the day after the ceremony.
Rock, meanwhile, refrains from commenting too deeply on the slap. He told the crowd at a comedy show in Boston last week that he was “still processing what happened.”
Read the full letter from the academy:
The 94th Oscars were meant to celebrate many people in our community who have done incredible things this past year; However, those moments were shrouded in unacceptable and harmful behavior that we saw Mr. Smith perform on stage.
During our telecast, we did not properly address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. It was an opportunity to set an example for our guests, visitors and our academy family around the world and we were unprepared – unprepared for the unprecedented.
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss his acceptance of his resignation as well as how to best respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars. The Board has decided that for 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith will not be allowed to attend any event or program at the Academy, in person or in person, which is not limited to the Academy Award.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for his restraint in this extraordinary situation. We would like to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their courtesy and kindness during our telecast.
We are taking this step today in response to Will Smith’s behavior which is a step towards a larger goal of protecting our performers and guests and restoring confidence in the academy. We hope that it can begin a time of healing and recovery for all involved and affected.
This is a breaking news story. Please look back for updates.