Will Smith banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock on stage

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US actor Will Smith accepts the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “King Richard” onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.
Robyn Beck | Afp | Getty Images

Will Smith has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next decade after slapping Chris Rock during the ceremony last month.

On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin said its board had determined that Smith’s conduct during the 94th annual Oscars ceremony meant he would not be allowed to attend any events or programs hosted by the organization for 10 years.

“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,” Hudson and Rubin wrote in a joint letter to Academy members obtained by NBC News.

Read the full letter from Rubin and Hudson:

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 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.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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