The Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has decided to ban actor Will Smith from attending the award show for 10 years, following his slap at presenter Chris Rock.
In a statement signed by Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, and reported by Variety magazine, the Academy stated that the 94th Oscars was meant to be a celebration of individuals in the community who did incredible work last year; however, those moments were overshadowed due to the unacceptable and harmful behavior made by Mr. Smith.
The academy apologized for not addressing the situation during the telecast, stating that this was an opportunity for them to set an example for guests, viewers, and the Academy family around the world.
The Academy stated that Will Smith will not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards, and promised that the action taken today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of their performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy.
Shortly after the statement was released, Smith responded that he accepts and respect the Academy’s decision.