Will Smith banned from Academy events for 10 years over slapping Chris Rock on stage | Ents & Arts News

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Will Smith will not be allowed to attend any Academy events, including the Oscars, for 10 years after he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage during the ceremony.

The Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscarsannounced the decision after a meeting to discuss possible penalties following the star’s outburst at the event.

Black-smith53 years old, had already resigned from membership in the Academywaiving his right to vote, and declared before the disciplinary hearing that he would accept all the consequences.

Will Smith accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for King Richard.  Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Picture:
Smith received the Best Actor Oscar shortly after slapping Rock onstage. Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President David Rubin and Executive Director Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “The 94th Academy Awards were meant to be a celebration of the many people in our community who have made amazing work last year.

“However, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and damaging behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on
arrange.”

The board ruled that for 10 years beginning April 8, Smith “will not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Oscars.” .

He added: “This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step towards a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests and restoring trust in the Academy.”

In a statement, Smith said, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

The council was due to meet on April 18 but moved the hearing forward to deal with the incident “in a timely manner” following the actor’s resignation.

Sky News arts and entertainment correspondent Katie Spencer said the Academy “wanted to be seen to take a stand, but were quite limited in what they could do”.

Will Smith at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.  Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Picture:
Smith posed for photos at the Vanity Fair after party after the awards show. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP


But she added: “That’s a pretty bold statement – you get banned from the Oscars for 10 years, especially if you’re a big Hollywood superstar. It hits you where it hurts.”

During the ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on March 27, Smith took the stage and hit Rockwho pranked the actor’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, as he prepared to present an award.

Smith returned to his seat and yelled twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

Rock’s joke had referenced the 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head. It’s still unclear if the comedian knew Pinkett Smith had alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, when he made the remark.

After the outburst, Rock picked up the slack and after a stunned silence the ceremony continued – with Smith winning Best Actor Oscar, for his performance playing the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard .

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In its statement Friday, the Academy said it wanted to “express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.”

Smith, the star of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and Hollywood blockbusters such as I Am Legend, Independence Day and the films Men In Black and Bad Boys, apologized to the Academy and other nominees on stage and then attended the Vanity Fair after-party. with Pinkett Smith and his children, where he posed for photos with his statuette.

But as the criticism grew the following day, he released a statement publicly apologizing to Rock, saying he reacted “emotionally” to the joke but that “violence in any form is toxic and destructive”.

He resigned from the Academy a week after the incident, saying, “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards were shocking, painful and inexcusable.”

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