Will Smith banned from the Oscars for the next 10 years for slapping Chris Rock

The Academy told MarkMeets.com “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”. 

Smith had already resigned from the Academy, saying he had “betrayed” its trust with conduct that was “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Friday that Will Smith would be barred from attending the Oscars for 10 years because of the “harmful behavior” he displayed when he struck the comedian Chris Rock during last month’s ceremony.

The ban came a week after the actor resigned from the organization following his violent outburst on the Oscar stage on March 27.

In an open letter released after a morning meeting of the academy’s 54 governors, the group’s president, David Rubin, and its chief executive, Dawn Hudson, also called Mr. Smith’s behavior “unacceptable” and admitted to not handling the situation properly during the telecast.

“For this, we are sorry,” said the statement. “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.”

Mr. Smith said in a statement that “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

The academy went on to praise Mr. Rock for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances” and thank others involved for “their poise and grace during our telecast.”

Mr. Smith had seemed to anticipate the possibility that he would not be welcome at future ceremonies in the emotional, and polarizing, acceptance speech he gave after winning the Oscar for best actor, which he ended by saying: “I hope the academy invites me back. Thank you.”

Barring Mr. Smith from next year’s ceremony means that he will not be allowed to present the Oscar for best actress, upending a tradition in which the previous year’s best actor winner bestows the prize for the best actress category, and vice versa.

The punishment could also spell trouble for the upcoming film “Emancipation,” a $100 million drama for Apple. The movie, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Mr. Smith as a runaway slave who joins the Union army, is in postproduction and has already been touted as a possible awards contender.

Before Mr. Smith resigned, the organization had been considering expelling or suspending the actor, who walked onto the Oscar stage in the middle of the ceremony and slapped Mr. Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, before returning to his seat, where he shouted expletives that were bleeped out of the live television broadcast. Mr. Smith was allowed to remain in the Dolby Theater, and soon after his outburst he won the Academy Award for best actor, and received a standing ovation.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
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Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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