The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have settled on consequences for Will Smith, 53, over the viral slap. Due to hitting Chris Rock, 57, in the face on stage at the 2022 Oscars, the King Richard star cannot attend any events hosted by The Academy, including the Oscars, for the next ten years. “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,” AMPAS President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement.
The Academy also called Will’s actions at the March 27 ceremony “unacceptable and harmful behavior.” The statement continued, “We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast. 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.”
At the 94th Annual Academy Awards, Chris made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head while referencing G.I. Jane. “Jada, can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2!” Chris quipped. Will laughed at first, but Jada — who suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder causing hair loss — wasn’t thrilled about the joke. Just moments later, Will went up on stage and slapped the iconic comedian across the face. He also hurled expletives at Chris once returning to his seat. “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” Will said. Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper were quick to console Will after the heated moment.
Will ended up winning the Oscar for Best Actor not long after the on-air altercation. He apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his actions, but did not apologize to Chris whatsoever. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things,” he said in his speech. The day after the Oscars, after The Academy announced they were doing a “formal review” into the incident, Will issued a public apology.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he wrote on Instagram. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.” Will also publicly apologized to the Everybody Hates Chris actor. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” he added. “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.”
Chris has reportedly declined to press charges against Will for the slap.