Will Smith Banned From Oscars for 10 Years After Slapping Chris Rock

Will Smith won an Oscar on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Will Smith has been barred from attending the Oscars for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 ceremony.

The ban came Friday as the film Academy’s Board of Governors held an emergency meeting amid fallout from the assault.

“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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.”

Related Story: Chris Rock’s Brother Tony Rock Rips Will Smith at Stand-Up Show (Video)

Rubin and Hudson also apologized for their response to the incident on Oscars night.

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” they said. “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.”

Smith will be allowed to keep his Oscar. Shortly after the Academy’s ruling on Friday, he released a brief statement to TheWrap, saying: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

Related StoryDenzel Washington Says He Prayed With Will Smith After Oscars Slap

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock. (Credit: ABC)
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. (Credit: ABC)

The Oscars slap saga began on March 27, when Chris Rock made a joke at the ceremony about the King Richard star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock ventured off topic as he presented the best documentary award, and suggested Pinkett Smith would star in a sequel to “G.I. Jane” due to her bald head. Pinkett Smith has been open about having alopecia, which causes hair loss.

In response to the joke, Smith stormed the stage, slapped Rock in front of a global TV audience and twice shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”

Later in the ceremony, Smith gave a tearful acceptance speech after picking up his best actor Oscar for King Richard. He made references to “protecting” his family and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for smacking Rock and causing a distraction at the awards.

The next day, Smith issued a public apology to Rock saying: “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1. The group’s Board of Governors had been considering punishing Smith by either suspending his membership in the Academy or expelling him from the organization. But Smith took those options off the table by resigning.

In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America days after the awards,  Oscars producer Will Packer said Los Angeles police were stationed at the Dolby Theatre during the ceremony and officers were “prepared” to arrest Smith, but Rock refused to press charges.

“They were saying this is battery was the word they use in that moment,” Packer recalled. “They said we will go get him, we are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him. They were laying out the options, and as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was like, ‘No, no, no.’”