Will Smith Reacts to Academy’s 10-Year Ban After Chris Rock Oscars Slap: I ‘Respect’ the Decision

Will Smith Reacts to Academy’s 10-Year Ban After Chris Rock Oscars Slap: I ‘Respect’ the Decision
Will Smith Pjb/Sipa/Shutterstock

Accepting his punishment. Will Smith responded to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ decision to ban him from all Oscars events for 10 years as punishment for slapping Chris Rock across the face.

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“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the King Richard star, 53, said in a statement to Page Six on Friday, April 8.

Earlier that day, the Academy announced that they had reached a decision after conducting a formal review into Smith’s actions during the 2022 Oscars. “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,” a letter sent by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson on Friday reads. “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 statement concluded: “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.”

The board meeting occurred via Zoom on Friday, nearly two weeks after the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum‘s altercation with Rock, 57.

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During the Oscars ceremony, Smith slapped the comedian after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. (The Red Table Talk host, 50, has alopecia.) “Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me,” the Longest Yard star exclaimed after the Bad Boys star stormed the stage. When Smith returned to his seat, he yelled at Rock to Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”

In addition to addressing his behavior during his tearful acceptance speech, Smith formally apologized to Rock the following day via Instagram.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” Smith wrote, adding, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

One week after the Oscars, Smith resigned from the Academy, which Rubin said in a statement on April 1 meant that some potential punishments, like suspension of his membership or expulsion, were “no longer a possibility.”

The “Just the Two of Us” performer said in a statement at the time that he “deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”

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Smith continued: “So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”

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