The Academy has decided Will Smith is now banned from the Oscars for the next ten years. In a meeting on April 8, 2022, the members of the Academy of Motion Pictures determined that the actor cannot attend the ceremony for the next decade after infamously slapping comedian Chris Rock.
The Academy had previously planned to meet on April 18, 2022, to decide whether or not Smith will keep his Oscar, which he won for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in King Richard during the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony. Instead, they convened early on April 8, 2022, to discuss “possible sanctions” against the Pursuit of Happyness actor for his actions at the 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony. The board determined he would be allowed to keep his Oscar—but not without consequences.
It has been a tradition for the winners of the previous year to present their awards to their successors for the next year—but it looks like Smith will not have this honor. In an open letter, the Academy announced, “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.”
In the same statement, the Academy apologized to Rock, the rest of the Academy and the public for the moment: “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.”
Smith had already resigned from the Academy on April 1, 2022, issuing a public statement condemning his own actions: “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,” Smith said at the time. “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
Smith also apologized to Rock directly: “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,” he wrote in a public apology statement on March 28, 2022. “There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
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