As a consequence of slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith has been banned from attending the award ceremony for the next 10 years. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a lengthy statement revealing their decision on April 8.
The full statement reads:
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.
The Board of Governors 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.
Smith sent a brief statement to Page Six regarding the Academy’s decision.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” he said.
Smith resigned from the Academy on April 3.
“Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” he said in a statement according to CNN.
Smith slapped Rock after he joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, which she wears proudly due to a battle with alopecia. A source close to Pinkett-Smith said that the Girls Trip star wished that Smith didn’t slap Rock that night.
“It was in the heat of the moment and it was him overreacting. He knows that, she knows that. They’re in agreement that he overreacted,” the source told Us Magazine. “She’s not one of these women that needs protecting. He didn’t need to do what he did, she didn’t need protecting. She’s not a wallflower,” the source shared. “She’s a strong woman, an opinionated woman and she can fight her own battles. But she will stand by him.”