Will Smith will not be allowed to participate in Academy events for a decade.
In an unprecedented move, the Academy has banned Will Smith from events for the next 10 years.
This decision comes after the surprising confrontation between Smith and comedian Chris Rock during the recent Academy Awards telecast.
Smith has accepted his punishment. In a statement, he said, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
But this is a huge deal. It has never happened before. The Academy released a full statement, which you can read below.
"The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.
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.
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. 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.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. 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.
This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.
We covered the slap and the aftermath. I had assumed both sides would agree on something punitive, but this marks a change for the Academy. Many online are decrying the decision, given that this is the same Academy that has ignored and celebrated other problematic figures in Hollywood.
But maybe the Academy is turning over a new leaf.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.