BEVERLY HILLS | The Academy of the Oscars decided this Friday to ban Will Smith from any ceremony or event that he organizes for a period of ten years, as punishment for the slap that the actor gave the comedian Chris Rock in full gala evening at the end of March.
“Mr. Smith will not be able to attend any Academy event or program, in person or virtually, Academy Awards or not, and effective immediately,” Academy leaders wrote in a statement.
The Academy accepted Will Smith’s resignation, which he submitted last week, but did not take away the Best Actor Oscar he received last month for The Williams Method.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Will Smith responded in a brief written statement.
The Academy did not mention any ban on the actor from competing for future Oscars.
The Friday morning meeting of the Academy’s board of directors, attended by stars such as Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg, was part of the disciplinary process initiated against the actor after his slap in the face of the Oscars.
A ceremony “overshadowed by Mr. Smith’s unacceptable and damaging behavior on stage. During our television broadcast, we did not react properly to the situation. We’re sorry about that,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said Friday.
“We want to express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Rock for remaining calm under these extraordinary circumstances,” they added in their statement.
Visibly as surprised and shocked as the audience by Will Smith’s act, the comedian, however, had picked up the thread of the evening as if nothing had happened, later refusing to file a complaint against the 53-year-old actor.
“My actions during the 94 ceremonyme The Oscars were shocking, painful and inexcusable,” admitted the actor, five days after taking the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock who had just made a joke about his wife’s shaved hair.
Jada Pinkett Smith went public a few years ago with alopecia, a condition that causes severe hair loss.
A few dozen minutes after the slap, Will Smith returned to the Oscars stage to receive the best actor award for his role in The Williams Method.
He had made no act of contrition at the time, content to lambast “people who disrespect you” and say that “love makes you do crazy things.”
It wasn’t until the next day, after the Academy announced an internal investigation into the incident, that the actor apologized to Chris Rock and the organizers. He later claimed to have reacted “emotionally” to “a joke about Jada’s health problem”.
Last Friday when finally announcing his resignation, Will Smith admitted to having “betrayed the trust of the Academy. He deprived other candidates and winners of the opportunity to celebrate his extraordinary work.”
“I will accept all the consequences that the board of directors considers appropriate,” he added in his text.
Voices were raised to demand that Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar, but others pointed out that neither Harvey Weinstein, a former Hollywood mogul convicted of rape and sexual assault, nor director Roman Polanski had been forced to return their statuettes after being expelled from the Oscar. . Academy.
The day after the incident, actress Whoopi Goldberg herself had considered it unlikely that this eventuality would concern Will Smith. “There will be consequences, I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, especially since Chris” Rock has decided not to press charges, she said on television.
For his part, the comedian has not spoken publicly about this incident. “I’m still digesting what happened. So at some point I’m going to talk about these things. And it will be serious and fun,” he said on March 30 at the beginning of a show.