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Will Smith banned from Oscars for 10 years

Academy commends Chris Rock for ‘maintaining his composure’

Zosha Millman (she/her) manages TV coverage at Polygon as TV editor, but will happily write about movies, too. She’s been working as a journalist for more than 10 years.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned Will Smith from the Oscars for 10 years following his slap of Chris Rock during the broadcast of the 94th annual Academy Awards on March 27.

Under the punishment levied by the Academy’s Board of Governors, Smith “shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” for 10 years, effective April 8, 2022.

In a statement, the board said it accepted Smith’s resignation from the Academy on April 1, and commended Rock for “maintaining his composure under 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,” the Board’s statement said. “We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

The Academy’s statement also admitted that the organization itself “did not adequately address the situation in the room.”

“For this, we are sorry,” the Academy said. “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.”

For his part, Smith in a statement last week called his actions “inexcusable,” and added that he hoped his resignation from the Academy would “put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.” Smith also penned a public apology to Rock on Instagram.

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