While it’s been nearly two weeks since the infamous Will Smith/Chris Rock slap incident occurred at the 2022 Oscars, the Academy has finally handed down its reprimands for the King Richard star.
After a nearly three-hour long Board of Governors meeting on Friday, per an official “Open Letter to Our Academy Family” from Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson sent to The Root, the Academy has decided to officially ban Smith from attending “any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards” in addition to accepting his resignation from the prestigious membership.
“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 letter began. “During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. 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.”
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. 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.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.
“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. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted,” the letter concluded.
With this decision, it looks like the Ali star will get to keep his Oscar, something most Hollywood insiders and pundits expected at the forefront.