Will Smith Banned from Attending the Oscars for the Next 10 Years

Will Smith will be paying a huge price for slapping comedian Chris Rock. The Academy has announced in a statement today that the Oscar-winning actor has been banned from attending the Oscars gala and other Academy events for the next 10 years. 

In a letter, the Academy said, “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.”

Even though Smith apologized for his actions and offered his resignation from the Academy, this news should not come as a surprise; as the organization had warned that the actor’s behavior would be under review and a decision would be made. 

The situation that merited Smith’s reprimand occurred during the last Academy ceremony when, after Chris Rock made a joke at Will Smith’s wife’s expense, the actor walked up to the stage and slapped Rock. It turns out that Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, a hair-loss condition, something she had publicly talked about on many occasions.   

An hour after these unfortunate events, Will Smith was awarded the Best Actor award for his role in “King Richard”, where he played the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.

The Academy met virtually on Friday to discuss disciplinary action. In the letter, it is stated that the organization regrets not having taken measures during the ceremony. They express how sorry they were for this and that this was an opportunity “to set an example for our guests, viewers, and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.” 

In its statement, it said that they accepted Will Smith’s resignation followed by the Board’s decision that, “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.”

In the statement, it said banning Smith was thought of as a way of protecting performers and guests and “restoring trust in the Academy”. The board considered the slap did not “adequately address the situation in the room.”

The letter also dedicates some words to thank Chris Rock for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances”.

In his resignation statement, Smith said he had “betrayed the trust of the Academy” and that he was heartbroken over his conduct. He also added that he would accept the consequences of his actions. This resignation means that he will no longer be able to vote in future Oscars. 

This disciplinary action is bound to affect Will Smith’s career for the worse. At least two studios, Netflix and Sony, have halted their projects with Smith. Chris Rock has not made any comments yet, neither on the Academy’s decision nor on the slap he received, but he has said that he will talk someday about it. 

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