The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences convened a board meeting today to discuss further disciplinary actions against Will Smith, and concluded that the actor “shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” per a letter from Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson. See the full statement below.
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.
David Rubin and Dawn Hudson
At the March 27 Oscars, Smith instantly made international news when he charged the stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian told a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Less than an hour later, he won an Oscar for his performance in “King Richard,” but the film industry quickly began speculating on how the Academy would punish Smith for the incident.
Many believed that Smith could be expelled from the Academy, but the actor chose to resign from the organization before he could be kicked out.
In a statement announcing his resignation, Smith said that “the list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements.”
In addition to the loss of his Academy membership, Smith has seen several of his upcoming film projects paused or canceled. His next film is Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation” for Apple, but the tech giant has yet to announce a release date.
By Christian Zilko | Indiewire