Will Smith Is Banned for 10 Years From Academy Occasions, Including the Oscars

Josh Rottenberg / Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Nearly two weeks after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the Oscars over a joke about his spouse, Jada Pinkett Smith, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced Friday it’s forbidding Smith from attending any academy occasions, together with the Oscars, for 10 years.

“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the academy,” the group’s President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson stated in an open letter to members following a gathering of the group’s 54-member board. “We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

Smith, 53, shortly issued an announcement Friday that learn: “I accept and respect the academy’s decision.”

The information comes one week after Smith — who went on to win the lead actor Oscar lower than an hour after putting Rock — resigned from the academy, calling his actions “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.” By resigning, Smith preempted what many anticipated to be his potential suspension or expulsion from the academy. But the group, beneath stress to carry Smith accountable for the violent outburst that derailed the Oscars and shocked hundreds of thousands of viewers, was decided to press forward with the disciplinary proceedings it introduced the day after the ceremony.

With its actions Friday, the academy stopped in need of rendering Smith ineligible for consideration for future Oscar nominations. The actor has a movie from Apple referred to as “Emancipation” slated for launch this yr.

In the run-up to the board assembly Friday — which was moved up from April 18 following Smith’s resignation — questions swirled over what steps the academy would take to punish one of many movie business’s most bankable and customarily well-liked stars. The group’s code of conduct, enacted in 2017 following the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal, provides academy leaders huge latitude within the disciplinary measures they will undertake for violations of the group’s requirements, starting from a easy reprimand to expulsion and lack of eligibility to obtain future Oscars.

In the wake of the Oscars, the academy confronted fierce criticism over its dealing with of the incident, with many questioning why Smith was not faraway from the Dolby Theatre after putting Rock and yelling profanities from his seat. In an announcement final week, the group stated Smith “was asked to leave the ceremony but refused,” even because it expressed some misgivings over its personal selections that night time. But conflicting accounts shortly emerged, with Smith’s camp disputing the character of the academy’s request, additional muddying the image of what occurred backstage within the tense and chaotic minutes after the altercation.

In their letter Friday, academy leaders expressed remorse over their very own dealing with of the incident and expressed gratitude to Rock for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.”

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” Rubin and Hudson wrote. “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.”

Since adopting its code of conduct, the academy has expelled solely three individuals: Weinstein, director Roman Polanski and comedian-author Bill Cosby. Weinstein and Polanski nonetheless have their Oscar trophies.

The group has solely revoked one Oscar in its practically centurylong historical past, taking again the award for the 1969 documentary “Young Americans” after it was deemed to be ineligible for that yr’s honor.

For Smith and the academy, the fallout from the incident has been extreme, opening up an unprecedented rift between the group that serves as the general public face of the movie business and one in every of that business’s largest stars. It stays to be seen whether or not that rift may be repaired.

Speaking to the L.A. Times prematurely of Friday’s assembly, one academy governor, who declined to talk on the report because of the sensitivity of the state of affairs, expressed hope that the board’s resolution will assist shut one of many ugliest chapters within the group’s historical past: “It’s about moving forward. We love our show and we have to be protective of the academy. I think we have to do what feels right.”

Here is the entire textual content of the academy’s letter:

Open Letter to Our Academy Family

The 94th Oscars had been meant to be a celebration of the various people in our neighborhood who did unimaginable work this previous yr; nonetheless, these moments had been overshadowed by the unacceptable and dangerous habits we noticed Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.

During our telecast, we didn’t adequately handle the state of affairs within the room. For this, we’re sorry. This was a possibility for us to set an instance for our company, viewers and our Academy household all over the world, and we fell quick — unprepared for the unprecedented.

Today, the Board of Governors convened a gathering to debate how greatest to answer Will Smith’s actions on the Oscars, along with accepting his resignation. The Board has determined, for a interval of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy occasions or packages, in individual or nearly, together with however not restricted to the Academy Awards.

We wish to categorical our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for sustaining his composure beneath extraordinary circumstances. We additionally wish to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for his or her poise and charm throughout our telecast.

This motion we’re taking in the present day in response to Will Smith’s habits is a step towards a bigger purpose of defending the security of our performers and company, and restoring belief within the Academy. We additionally hope this will start a time of therapeutic and restoration for all concerned and impacted.

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