Will Smith will keep his Oscar for best actor, but he won’t be able to attend another gala for the next 10 years.
The lead actor in the acclaimed King Richard – a film about Richard Williams, father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams – had been at risk of losing his accolade for the infamous attack on Chris Rock.
Smith stunned the world on Gala night 12 days ago when he walked to the stage and smacked Chris Rock in the face.
Smith slapped 57-year-old Rock for joking about his wife’s shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia.
Although he apologised and resigned from the academy, the speculation was rife that 53-year-old Smith could lose his Oscar.
However, Whoopi Goldberg – a member of the academy’s board of governor – had earlier predicted Smith would face “big consequences” but said “we’re not going to take that Oscar away from him.”
The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which organises the awards ceremony, met virtually on Friday to discuss disciplinary action.
After the meeting, the academy issued a statement saying Smith – the actor of Fresh Prince of Bel–Air fame – had been banned for 10 years.
The Board said: “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.”
Full statement issued by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Science:
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.