Will Smith has, for years, been one of the few people in Hollywood that everyone seemed to like. That all changed a couple of weeks ago when he emphatically slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
It was also revealed that Smith will be allowed to keep the Best Actor award he received that same night.
All 54 members of the Academy reportedly convened Friday morning via Zoom to discuss possible sanctions against Smith.
Here’s the official statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ president and CEO to their members (via DEADLINE):
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.
Smith, who publicly apologized to Chris Rock in a social media post a day after the unfortunate event, swiftly replied to the news of his suspension with a quick statement, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
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