Will Smith banned from all Academy events for 10 years following Oscars slap

The incident occurred after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss as a result of the medical condition alopecia

Published

Will Smith has been banned from all Academy events or programmes for 10 years following his “unprecedented” behaviour at the 94th Academy Awards.

Academy president David Rubin acknowledged the organisation “fell short” in its response to the incident and hoped the decision would “begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted”.

The measures come in response to Smith’s now infamous behaviour at the ceremony on March 27, during which he took to the stage and slapped Chris Rock.

The incident occurred after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss as a result of the medical condition alopecia.

Mr Rubin said Smith’s “unacceptable and harmful behaviour” on stage had “overshadowed” the ceremony.

Will Smith wins the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Will Smith wins the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“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,” Rubin said in the statement put out online.

“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.”

Rubin also thanked Rock again for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances” and other attendees for their “poise and grace”.

“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behaviour is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” Mr Rubin said.

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

Responding to the announcement, Smith said he would “accept and respect the Academy’s decision”.

Will Smith (R) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Will Smith (R) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Shortly after the altercation, Smith returned to the stage to collect the gong for best actor for his performance in King Richard, his first Academy award, which he will be allowed to keep.

Accepting the accolade, he gave a tearful speech about the importance of protecting family.

An Academy board meeting to discuss the consequences of the actor’s actions took place on Friday, having been brought forward from its originally scheduled date of April 18.

The meeting was called by Mr Rubin and 65 members of the industry reside on the board, according to the Academy’s official website.

Laura Dern, Whoopi Goldberg and Rita Wilson are listed as governors under the actors branch on the website, with Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay and Susanne Bier listed on the director’s branch.

Smith resigned from the Academy last week.

Following his resignation, Mr Rubin brought the meeting forward to deal with the matter “in a timely fashion” as suspension or expulsion from the Academy were “no longer a possibility”.