Nearly two weeks after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has ruled that the King Richard star is banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, the Academy’s 54-person board of governors held a virtual meeting on Friday to determine what disciplinary actions to take against Smith.
“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,” said AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
The statement continued, “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 Academy went on to apologize for not “adequately address[ing]” the incident during the telecast.
“For this, we are sorry,” the letter read. “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.”
They also expressed “deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances,” before thanking the evening’s “hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.”
Shortly after the Academy’s announcement, Smith issued a brief statement of his own, saying, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
The 53-year-old actor will not be stripped of his Best Actor award, and he will remain eligible for future Academy Awards nominations.
The news arrives one week after Smith decided to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he said in a statement at the time. “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,” he continued. “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 concluded, “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. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”