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 called Smith’s behavior “unacceptable” in a letter to organization members and said the new Academy Award winner recently minted will not be allowed to attend any events or shows organized by the group for 10 years.
“The action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step towards the larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring the believe in the Academy,” the group wrote in a letter to members, obtained by NBC News.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said before the ban.
Smith confronted Rock on stage after the comedian joked about the close-cropped hair of Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia areata, a skin condition that can lead to hair loss. After attacking the Rock, Smith returned to his seat and shouted profanities at his fellow star.
Initially, the academy’s board of trustees will convene on April 18 to discuss possible disciplinary actions, including possible suspension or ban from participation in the organization. However, last week Smith resign from the group called her own actions “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
Smith apologized to the academy and its nominees during his acceptance speech for the best actor award, which he won for his portrayal of Richard Williams in “King Richard.” He apologized to Rock via social media the day after the ceremony.
Rock, meanwhile, declined to comment to the public about the slap. He spoke to the crowd at a comedy show last week in Boston where he was “still processing what happened.”
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” the academy’s chief executive said in the letter Friday. “For this, we regret it. This was our chance to set an example for our Academy guests, viewers and families around the world, and we fell short – unprepared for it. never happend.”
The Academy said that Smith refused to leave ceremony after he hit the comedian. However, there are conflicting reports as to whether Smith was actually asked to leave, or just suggested that he should leave before his award category is named.
The Los Angeles Police Department is ready to catch Smith at the awards ceremony, according to a producer of the show, but Rock denied the allegation.
Read the full letter from the academy:
The 94th Academy Awards are meant to honor the many individuals in our community who have done incredible work over the past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.
During our television, we did not fully address the situation in the room. For this, we apologize. This was our chance to set an example for our Academy guests, viewers and 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 determined, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, that Mr. Smith will not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, either directly or virtually, including but not limited to Academy Awards.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining composure under exceptional circumstances. We would also like to thank the hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace throughout our television programme.
The action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s conduct is a step towards our larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring the believe in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and recovery for all involved and affected.