Until they start giving out Academy Awards for stunts and fight choreography, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences will not hold space for slapping at the Oscars. On April 8, the Academy Board of Governors announced that their most recent Best Actor winner will not be allowed to attend the Oscars for ten years. Will Smith will “not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.” That means the next time Smith shows his face at the Oscars — probably because Willow wins Best Original Song for Avatar 12 — he will be 63.
The Academy also accepted Smith’s resignation, which he made last week. This delayed response follows “the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” which is so many syllables for “him slapping Chris Rock.” He remains eligible for nominations. In a statement to Variety, Smith said, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” We believe the decision to excise Will Smith from the Academy should henceforth be known as a Slappendectomy. Now who wants to put money on Rock being asked to present the Best Actor award next year? Read the full statement here.
Open Letter to Our Academy Family
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.