Academy Reveals Punishment for Will Smith After Oscars Slap

Academy Reveals Punishment for Will Smith After Oscars Slap
Will Smith (R) hits at Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif., on March 27, 2022. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Jack Phillips

Will Smith cannot attend the Academy Awards ceremony for the next 10 years after he slapped comedian Chris Rock during the awards show last month, said the Academy.

“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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement Friday.

The decision was handed down after a Board of Governors meeting on Friday. While there was speculation that Smith could lose his "King Richard" Best Actor Oscar, which he was given just minutes after slapping Chris Rock, the Academy's statement did not indicate that he would lose his award.

"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," the Academy also said in a Friday letter to several news outlets.

The Academy added that during the broadcast, they "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."

In the incident, Smith walked onto the Oscars stage and approached Rock, 57, before slapping him. Smith, 53, then repeatedly yelled at Rock to "keep my wife's name out your ... mouth."

Days after the incident, Smith issued a statement on social media apologizing to Rock. Last week, Smith penned another statement saying he would resign from the Academy.

For his part, Rock declined to press charges against Smith and hasn't directly addressed the slap.

"We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances," the Academy's letter also said. "We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters, and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast."

It added: "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."

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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