The reaction of Will Smith came after the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts banned him from attending and attaining the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years over him slapping ‘Chris Rock’ at the 94th Academy Awards.
Academy Board of Governors took this move after they held a meeting in which they discussed a response to Will’s action. They banned him for 10 years.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” PEOPLE quoted Will’s statement.
The reason governors banned him was because Will had walked up to the stage and slapped Chris on the face after the Chris comedian made a joke at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. Will went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor later that night.
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— Will Smith (@willsmith) April 7, 2022
After the incident, Will apologised to both the Academy and Chris Rock, stating that “his actions did not reflect the man he wants to be”. He even voluntarily resigned from the Academy.
However, it is reported that Chris refused to press charges against Will after the Police Department of Los Angeles informed him that he could do this under this option.
Since then, the comedian has directed to the incident in passing in his stand-up routine but hasn’t issued a public statement.
It is also reported that ‘Will’ will keep the Best actor award at the Oscars he even won after the slap, and he will remain eligible to be nominated for and win more of them in the 10-years-period, though he is eligible to accept them.
The meaning of the ban is that ‘Will’ not be eligible to be presented the Best Actor award at next year’s Oscars; his first Oscar award was for the best actor (leading role) in King Richard.
As per Variety, the Academy’s statement read, “The 94th Oscars were meant to celebrate the many people in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behaviour we saw Mr Smith exhibit on stage. During our telecast, we did not sufficiently address the condition in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was a possibility for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family worldwide, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.”
The statement added that the Board of Governors called a meeting in order to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars and accept his resignation.
The Board has decided, for ten years from April 8, 2022, that Mr Smith shall not be allowed to attain any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.” They even thanked ‘Chris Rock’, and he maintained his gratitude.
Last week, Will resigned from the Academy during a run-up to the meeting, calling his actions “shocking, painful, and indefensible.” With his resignation, he lost the ability to vote for nominees and winners.