Chris Rock row: Will Smith gets 10-year ban from Oscars
Hollywood actor Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars and events conducted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for the next 10 years. This announcement from the board comes two weeks after the actor slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage. However, the board did not revoke the best actor award that Smith received for King Richard.
- Smith turned out to be the unfortunate highlight of the 94th Oscars after he slapped Rock
- Although the Academy has now imposed a ban on the actor, he had already resigned from AMPAS days after the incident.
- Smith was expected to face disciplinary action by the Academy over the slap.
- However, some claim that the Academy's decision now reeks of bias and racism.
"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," read the letter from the Academy's president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson. There has, however, not been any mention of his future Oscar nominations.
Reacting to the ban, Smith said, "I accept and respect the Academy's decision," according to PEOPLE. In the general public, the reaction has been quite mixed. Some consider this a fair move as the Academy is still open to accepting Smith's nominations. However, critics allege racism as the Academy had taken four decades to ban Roman Polanski after his conviction for raping a minor.
Actor Carmine Caridi was the first person to be expelled from the Academy for recording and leaking the screeners online. Separately, producer Harvey Weinstein, cinematographer Adam Kimmel, and writer-director Roman Polanski were expelled from the Academy after sexual assault allegations surfaced against them. Comedian Bill Cosby was expelled a month after his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting basketball player Andrea Constand.
Though the Academy has expelled celebrities for their sexually inappropriate behavior off stage, at the 75th Annual Academy Awards, actor Adrien Brody went on to inappropriately kiss Halle Berry on stage. Brody was being honored for his work in The Pianist. Berry even noted in her later interviews that she was too shocked to even react. However, Brody's act went unpunished by the Academy.
During the Oscars ceremony on March 28, Rock was on stage to present the Oscar for best documentary feature. Rock then cracked a rather distasteful joke about Smith's wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith, and her shaved head. Smith then stormed on stage and slapped Rock. Pinkett Smith notably suffers from an auto-immune disorder called alopecia causing hair loss.
Smith had penned a note on social media last week, where he openly apologized to Chris Rock. Smith described his actions at the Oscars as "shocking, painful, and inexcusable." The actor wrote, "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable." "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," he added.