Will Smith Banned From Oscars For 10 Years After Chris Rock Slap, Academy Decides

Will Smith is taking a decade-long break from the Oscars.

The “King Richard” star has been banned from all Academy events for the next 10 years following the viral moment he slapped presenter Chris Rock at this year’s ceremony, the organization announced on Friday.

In a statement, the Academy noted that they “did not adequately address the situation in the room” and “fell short” to “set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world,” adding that they were “unprepared for the unprecedented.”

“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,” the statement read in part.

The superstar walked onstage and smacked Rock across the face during the live Oscars telecast following a joke about the hairstyle of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. Smith then returned to his seat and shouted “keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth” twice to a visibly stunned Rock, who proceeded to present the Best Documentary Feature award.

The disciplinary action against Smith is valid beginning Friday and includes both virtual and in-person programs. The Academy did not indicate an intent to rescind his Best Actor win, which he accepted later in the Oscar ceremony.

Rock has not spoken publicly about the incident other than to tell comedy show audiences in recent days that he’s “still processing” what happened and will address the topic more fully when he’s ready.

The Academy acknowledged the comedian’s demeanor throughout the aftermath and thanked him in their statement for his “composure under extraordinary circumstances,” and also shared gratitude to the “hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace.”

Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock At Oscars: Every Pic

Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock At Oscars: Every Pic

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The statement concluded by expressing hope for “a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted,” and said the disciplinary action is “a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust” in the organization.

Smith previously resigned from the Academy in the fallout and said in a statement to Access Hollywood that he accepts and respects the decision made in Friday’s hearing. The 53-year-old also issued an Instagram apology the Monday after the show, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

— Erin Biglow

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