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Oscars ban Will Smith for 10 years; actor reacts to punishment

Actor Will Smith has been banned from Oscars gala and other Academy events for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock during the ceremony in March.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars in March 2022.

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin, the 94th Oscars had been “overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behaviour’’ of Mr. Smith.

“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behaviour is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” the statement issued further noted.

Read the full letter from Rubin and Hudson 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.

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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.

Meanwhile, Will Smith has also publicly accepted the decision by the Academy to suspend him for the next decade.

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“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,’’ Smith said in a statement.

Smith has apologised for his actions and resigned from the Academy.

The actor hit Chris Rock for joking about his wife’s shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia.

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