The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences barred Will Smith, the best actor award winner, from attending the Oscars and any other events held by the Academy for the next 10 years. The step was taken to punish Will Smith for slapping stage comedian Chris Rock in full public view.
• Will Smith won’t be allowed to attend Academy and other awards for a decade
• He is allowed to retain his Oscar for the best actor
• Academy took the step to ensure the safety of its performers and guests
• Earlier Chris Rock denied registering a police complaint against Will Smith
• Also, Smith had apologized to Rock for his behavior
Academy’s Letter To Will Smith
President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said that the Board had decided to bar Will Smith from attending any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, for a period of 10 years starting from 8 April 2022. But the chiefs didn’t revoke the best actor award Will Smith received for “King Richard”. The decision was taken at a closed-door meeting attended by board members Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg. The letter thanked Chris Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.
What Action Did The Academy Take On That Day?
Stage comedian Chris Rock made a joke about the closely cropped hair of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett. Actress Pinkett has been suffering from alopecia and has recently done hair cropping. Will Smith couldn’t withstand the joke and immediately reacted to it by slapping Chris Rock in full public view.
Shortly after the incident, Smith was asked to leave the ballroom but he disputed the order. The producer of the show Will Packer also allowed Smith to remain and accept the award he received soon after the incident.
Later Chris Rock was asked whether he wanted to file a police complaint against Will Smith but Rock denied it. Will Smith also apologized to Rock for his behavior that he termed shocking, painful, and inexcusable. He even resigned from Academy’s membership.
Why Was Smith Not Stripped Of His Oscar?
The Academy followed the tradition in allowing Smith to retain his award. Earlier Academy didn’t revoke the Oscars of Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski when the actors were expelled for sex assault scandals. But Will Smith won’t get the honor of presenting the best actress award in the next Oscar. It is a privilege every Oscar winner gets.