The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars for ten years. This news comes only a week after Smith resigned from the Academy after receiving backlash for his actions at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27. Comedian Chris Rock made a joke regarding Smith’s wife, Jada-Pinkett Smith’s hair loss due to Alopecia at the Oscars ceremony. This led to Smith walking onto the stage and slapping Rock across the face before sitting down and shouting expletives at the comedian. Smith won Best Actor later in the evening and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees. He apologized to Rock the next day. Despite Smith’s apologies, the film industry and the public have demanded consequences, which Variety reports the Academy has delivered in a ten-year ban from the Oscars and all Academy events.
Academy Speaks on Will Smith
A statement from the Academy 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. 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 has responded to the ban, saying, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Can Will Smith Recover After the Oscars
Several of Smith’s upcoming projects, including Bad Boys 4 and a biopic, are paused after the Oscars incident. There have been no updates in the sequel to I Am Legend, although that project was only announced weeks before the incident. Whether or not Will Smith can bounce back and get these projects going again is uncertain, although many Hollywood actors have moved forward and been forgiven after mistakes like this.
How do you feel about the Academy banning Will Smith from the Oscars for ten years? Is that enough of a punishment? Share your thoughts on The Nerd Stash Facebook page and @TheNerdStash on Twitter.