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April 08, 2022

Will Smith says he will 'accept and respect' 10-year Oscars ban for slapping Chris Rock

The motion picture academy apologized for allowing the actor to stay at the ceremony after the incident

Celebrities Will Smith
Will Smith Oscars Ban Robert Hanashiro/USA Today

Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for a decade for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards last month.

Will Smith has been banned from the Academy Awards for a decade for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the ceremony last month.

The actor cannot attend any other event hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, either.

​​"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 wrote in a letter sent to its members, Deadline reported.

Smith said he would "accept and respect" the organization's decision, the Associated Press reported. Last week, Smith preemptively resigned from the academy.

The academy also apologized for allowing Smith to stay at the ceremony and accept his best actor award for his performance in "King Richard."

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room," the statement said. "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."

In the immediate aftermath of the ceremony, the academy said Smith was asked to leave, but that he refused. But the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that a producer for the ceremony told Smith that the academy wanted him to stay.

The ban means that Smith won't be able to present an award next year, as is tradition for best actor recipients.

But the statement did not make clear whether Smith could be nominated for an award during his ban. It also didn't make any moves to revoke Smith's award.

Other academy members who have been expelled in the past, including Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, have not been stripped of their awards.

The academy's statement also thanked Rock for his measured response to the slap.

Rock will has two shows scheduled at the Met in late September as part of his "Ego Death World Tour."

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