Updated: Will Smith responds to 10 year Oscar ban by the Academy

Will Smith, Oscars, verdict, Chris Rock, Oscars slap

UPDATE: In a simple statement to People Magazine, Will Smith replied to his ban, saying “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

ORIGINAL POST: Twelve days after Will Smith slapped and verbally berated Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reached a verdict about Smith’s punishment. The Academy has ruled that Smith is banned from returning to the Oscars or attending other Academy-related events for the next ten years. Smith will not have his Best Actor award taken away from him as a part of the recourse for his shocking actions.

The Academy’s 54-person board of governors met on Friday to determine the fate of Smith’s involvement with the organization. Before the Academy announced Smith’s punishment, he preemptively resigned as a member of the organization. Regardless of Smith voluntarily removing himself from the group, his actions on the night in question violated the standards of conduct that the Academy put into practice during the rise of the #MeToo movement.

Several members of Hollywood’s elite expressed their support or disdain for Smith’s actions that evening, leading to many arguments and non-stop coverage of the event via social media. Some people called for Smith’s Best Actor Oscar to be taken away, while others praised what they felt was the actor’s “chivalrous” behavior.


Here is the “Open Letter to Our Academy Family” sent by Rubin and Hudson on Friday morning:

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.

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.

Thank you,
David Rubin
Dawn Hudson

What do you think about Smith getting banned from the Academy for ten years? Does the punishment fit the crime? Sound off in the comments section below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.