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

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Nearly three weeks after his infamous 2022 Oscars slap, the Academy has officially made the decision to ban Will Smith from the iconic awards show for the next 10 years.

As previously reported, Will Smith lashed out at one of the Oscars presenters, Chris Rock, after the comedian made a job about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. Pinkett Smith has the autoimmune skin disease alopecia, which causes hair loss. She has been very open about the illness and decided to shave her head last year. 

After Chris Rock joked that he was excited to see Pinkett Smith in “G.I. Jane 2” due to shaving her head, Will Smith walked up to Rock and slapped him across the face. Rock was heard saying, “Will Smith just slapped the s—t out of me.” And Smith repeatedly replied, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth.”

Smith later apologized to the Academy and those in the audience at the show upon accepting his Oscar. However, he didn’t make a formal apology to Rock until the next day. Smith has since stepped down as a member of the Academy. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to ban Will Smith from returning to the Oscars or attending any other Academy events for the next decade. However, he will retain the Oscar he received during the 2022 show. He is also to remain eligible for future Oscar nominations and wins. 

The media outlet further reveals that the Academy’s CEO, Dawn Hudson as well as president David Rubin and Oscars ceremony producer, Will Packer, have been under fire since the show. This is due to them failing to remove Will Smith from the Dolby Theatre following the slap. 

Academy Makes an Official Statement About Will Smith’s Ban from the Oscars and Academy Events 

In a statement, Academy’s shared its decision to ban Will Smith from the Oscars and other Academy events.

“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.”

The Academy expressed gratitude to Chris Rock for maintaining his composure under the “extraordinary” circumstances. “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.”