Following his slap of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, the motion picture academy barred Will Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy function for ten years on Friday.
After a meeting of the academy’s board of governors to determine a reaction to Smith’s activities, the decision was made.
According to the academy, “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 the week leading up to the meeting, Will Smith preemptively resigned from the school, saying he would accept any penalty the institution imposed.
Smith stated, “I accept and respect the academy’s decision.”
Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars event but refused, according to a statement released by the Academy in the days following the celebration.
However, it’s unclear how or in what form the warning was communicated to Smith, and multiple media sources have stated that he was never formally forced to leave the Dolby Theatre.
In an article published on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times stated that Oscars producer Will Packer told Smith, “Officially, we don’t want you to leave. We want you to stay.”
Smith was allowed to stay and claim his best actor prize for King Richard after the academy apologized for its handling of the matter.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry,” the academy stated.
“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.”
What This Decision Simply Means
As a result of the suspension, Will Smith will not be presenting one of the main trophies at the Academy Awards next year, as is customary for the best actor winner.
“Deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances,” the academy said in a statement on Friday.
Smith could not be nominated for an Oscar during his 10-year suspension, according to the academy’s statement.
It also did nothing to invalidate Smith’s Academy Award.
Relatively, Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, both expelled members of the Academy, have not had their Oscars removed or Invalidated.