Will Smith barred from Academy events for a decade after slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

280322 Will Smith slaps Chris Rock, AP
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. Credit: AP

Will Smith has been banned from all Academy events or programmes for 10 years after he slapped comedian Chris Rock at this year's Oscars.

Academy President David Rubin acknowledged the organisation “fell short” in its response to the incident and hoped the decision would “begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted”.

The measures come in response to Smith’s now infamous behaviour at the ceremony on March 27, during which he took to the stage and slapped Rock.

The incident occurred after the comedian made a joke about the Hollywood star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss due to the medical condition alopecia.

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What has the Academy said?

Mr Rubin said Smith’s “unacceptable and harmful behaviour” on stage had “overshadowed” the ceremony.

“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,” Mr Rubin said in the statement put out online.

“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.”

Rubin again thanked Chris Rock for “maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances” and other attendees for their “poise and grace”.

“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,” Mr Rubin said.

“We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

In response to the announcement, Smith said he would “accept and respect the Academy’s decision”.

Will Smith after receiving his Oscar. Credit: PA

Shortly after the altercation, Smith returned to the stage to collect the gong for best actor for his performance in King Richard, his first Academy award, which he will be allowed to keep.

Accepting the accolade, he gave a tearful speech about the importance of protecting family.

An Academy board meeting to discuss the consequences of the actor’s actions took place on Friday, having been brought forward from its initially scheduled date of April 18.

The meeting was called by Mr Rubin and 65 members of the industry reside on the board, according to the Academy’s official website.

Laura Dern, Whoopi Goldberg and Rita Wilson are listed as governors under the actors branch on the website, with Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay and Susanne Bier listed on the director’s branch.

Smith resigned from the Academy last week.

Following the 53-year-old's resignation, Mr Rubin brought the meeting forward to deal with the matter “in a timely fashion” as suspension or expulsion from the Academy were “no longer a possibility”.