Will Smith will not be allowed to attend the Academy Awards for the next 10 years, as a result of his slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage during this year’s Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced in a statement.
“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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement on Friday.
The decision was made during a Board of Governors meeting held earlier in the day in Los Angeles. The meeting, initially scheduled for April 18, was expedited after Smith announced his resignation from the Academy last week.
Smith issued a quick, concise statement on his ban from the Oscars for the next decade.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the actor said in a statement.
The decision came following “tons of debate” on what the consequences of his on-stage slap should be, a board member said.
The Academy’s letter added: “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,” the letter went on to state. “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 said in a previous statement that they wanted the matter to be “handled in a timely fashion.”
Smith’s resignation means that he is no longer part of the Academy’s voting body, but it does not prevent the Oscar winner from being nominated in the future, a source with knowledge previously told the press.
Smith can also still be nominated despite being barred from attending the Oscars because “the standards of conduct rules” at play in today’s action “do not apply to awards eligibility,” a source close to the Academy with direct knowledge of the rules said on Friday.
Typically, the previous year’s best actor winner presents the current year’s best actress award (and the reigning best actress presents to the best actor trophy). With Smith’s ban, the Oscars will have to break that tradition.