Sunday, May 28, 2023

Will Smith gets 10-year Oscar ban for slapping Chris Rock

Smith, who resigned from the Motion Picture Academy last week, says he respects and accepts the decision.

Will Smith has been banned for 10 years from attending the Oscars, less than two weeks after American actor slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage.

Following a meeting of its board of governors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Friday that Smith would not be allowed to attend any other events organized by the academy during that period.

“The 94th Oscars was to celebrate the many people in our community who did an incredible job last year; However, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith perform on stage,” the academy said in a statement.

Smith walked on stage during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 27 and slapped Rock after the comedian compared the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head, to the film’s character, GI Jane.

Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss, and her decision to shave her head.

A day later, Smith apologized to The Rock. He resigned from the academy last week on 1 April, saying his actions were “shocking, painful and unforgivable”.

At the time, Smith stated that he would “accept any further results” that the Academy’s board deemed appropriate.

Academy governors convened Friday morning to discuss action against Smith, including board members Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg, who were invited to rule over the actor’s fate.

“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said in a statement Friday after the ban was announced.

The move means Smith will not present one of the major awards at next year’s Oscars, as is the tradition for the Best Actor winner.

He took home that award less than an hour after striking The Rock on the same stage for his performance in the tennis biopic, King Richard.

In its Friday statement, the Academy expressed “deep gratitude to Mr Rock for his restraint in the extraordinary circumstances” and apologized for his handling of the situation.

Will smith, right, hits presenter chris rock on stage on march 27 [chris pizzello/ap photo]

“During our broadcast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For that, we are sorry,” it said. “This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, audiences and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short – unprepared for the unprecedented.”

Actors do not need to be members of the Academy to receive nominations, although each year’s Oscar nominees — and winners — are voted on by members of the group.

Some demanded that Smith take away his Oscar, but he was deemed unlikely, as people such as Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski had not revoked their awards when they were expelled from the Academy in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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