Will Smith Banned From Academy Events for 10 Years Following Infamous Chris Rock Oscars Slap

Award-winning actor Will Smith has been banned from Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences events for 10 years for slapping comedian and host Chris Rock during the Oscars last month, the organization’s Board of Governors announced on Friday.

“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,” members said in a statement, according to USA Today.

“We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18,” Academy president David Rubin added in a separate statement to the outlet.

The news comes just over a week after Smith formally resigned from the Academy over the incident and said he would accept any punishment it decided to hand down.

The decade-long suspension is a major break from the Academy’s original response to the actor’s violent conduct at this year’s Oscars. 

Smith was allowed to return to his seat without consequence after walking on stage and hitting Rock during the televised ceremony. Rock had offended Smith with a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith suffers hair loss from alopecia.

Minutes later, Smith amazingly returned to the stage to accept the Best Actor award for his performance in “King Richard,” a film in which he portrayed Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams. The audience gave him a standing ovation as he tearfully recited his acceptance speech.

Initially, the Academy issued a lukewarm response to the viral incident, saying only that “it does not condone violence of any form.”

Later, it would issue another response specifically condemning Smith’s actions and announcing the launch of “a formal review around the incident” that would “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our bylaws, standards of conduct, and California law.”

The Los Angeles Police Department noted at the time that Rock declined to press charges against Smith after the on-air assault.

On March 28, Smith issued an apology to Rock and to the Academy for his “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he said in part, adding, “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.”

As of Friday afternoon, Smith had yet to publicly respond to the newly-announced ban.