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Will Smith is paying dearly for his loss of control during the Oscar Awards ceremony when he bolted from the audience to slap Chris Rock in the head after this year’s best actor winner was issued a 10-year ban prohibiting him from attending the star-studded event.
On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Smith is now forbidden to attend the Oscars or any Academy event for the next decade, a rebuke that fell far short of his being formally kicked out which the Hollywood superstar headed off when he preemptively resigned last week.
According to a statement issued by the Academy: “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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
Smith’s bizarre outburst spoiled what was a typically “woke” evening of virtue signaling as the beautiful people took turns pontificating about Ukraine and trashing the state of Florida over the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, shocking attendees when he responded to Rock’s likening Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle to “G.I. Jane,” the character portrayed by Demi Moore in the 1997 film about a female undergoing military special operations training.
Pinkett Smith suffers from the disease alopecia which causes hair loss and her spouse charged the stage to avenge his spouse’s honor with the slap heard around the world as well as a profane rebuke on live television,
Here's the moment Chris Rock made a "G.I. Jane 2" joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, prompting Will Smith to punch him and yell, "Leave my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth." #Oscars pic.twitter.com/kHTZXI6kuL
— Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2022
Smith would go on to score the hardware for his role in “King Richard” the movie about the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, his first Best Actor win in an acclaimed career for the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” who has become one of America’s most familiar and beloved performers.
But he will not be stripped of his Oscar nor will he be prohibited from being nominated or winning future awards.
Twitter weighed in on the Academy’s action with some believing that it falls far short of what Smith deserves.
Will Smith should have to return his Oscar and serve time. Whatever is going on in his troubled marriage doesn’t warrant smacking an innocent person who is just trying to do his job.
— FreeGumbyDammit (@FreeGumbyDammit) April 8, 2022
Will Smith should be charged with assault- that is what it was in front on millions of viewers. It is such a shame because Will is such a talented actor. I even think he is genuine in his regret. Still needs to be charged- other persons would be
— Kelly (@Kelly24838738) April 9, 2022
Money doesn't buy class. He should have been charged with assault! If any one of us would have done this, we'd be still sitting in jail waiting for bail. Only 17 million viewers as witnesses! https://t.co/hNelBHR1Cf
— Rosa McLeod (@Cultgoddess13) April 8, 2022
Why was Will Smith just banned from the Oscars for only 10 years — shouldn’t he be banned for life and prosecuted for assault?
— Paul A. Szypula (@Bubblebathgirl) April 8, 2022
So to be clear, Will Smith can still be nominated and win an Oscar, he just can't go to the show or Oscar-related events. Makes sense.
— Joe Flint Vessel of Love (@JBFlint) April 8, 2022
Others had a different take.
BREAKING: Will Smith banned by the Hollywood Academy, 12 days after he slapped Chris Rock.
It took the same Academy 40 years to ban Roman Polanski after he was convicted of raping a child.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 8, 2022
A 10 year ban?! What a joke. They brought Gibson back in less time.
The Academy is clearly mad at the shit they took for blowing this situation and mad at #WillSmith for resigning. He neutered their chance to grandstand with a face saving punishment. So they did this.
— John Rocha aka The Outlaw Nation (@TheRochaSays) April 8, 2022
Will Smith getting a 10 year ban while Harvey Weinstein *checks notes* got nothing
— sammo (@sami34m) April 8, 2022
10-year ban for Will Smith. The Oscar folks hand down stiffer sentences than the nation's Soros-funded, Big Blue City prosecutors and lower court judges.
— Dan Proft (@DanProft) April 8, 2022
crazy how the oscars have allowed racism and harassment to happen with no consequences, but they choose to ban will for TEN YEARS all over a slap?? fuck the oscars https://t.co/iD0Ab6xWXd
— Lee Ann 🥀🌧️ (@ultrcmcr) April 8, 2022
“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,” the Academy said. “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.”
Smith responded to the ban. “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the actor said in a statement.
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