Since the slap that shook the world happened at the Oscar ceremony on March 27, The Academy has been reeling, back-peddling, fumbling and bumbling their way through some kind of reaction. Feeling under pressure for there to be a consequence for Will Smith, who slapped Chris Rock on stage while he was presenting an award, The Academy have now made a decision.
To be fair to The Academy, everything happened on the night in a blur. In quick succession, Chris Rock made a offensive joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith responded by climbing on stage and slapping Rock, then within minutes, Smith was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard. It was all over too quickly for there to really be a response on the night.
In the following days and weeks, Smith has publicly apologised, and has also resigned from The Academy. Now, the board have released an open letter stating that; “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.”
“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,” the Academy concluded.
There has also been reports of several of Smith’s upcoming projects being put on hold, possibly as a response to the negative attention he has received. Many people are pointing out the double-standard, when controversial figures such as Mel Gibson are still working.
The events during the Oscar ceremony certainly ended up creating more drama than there was in the movies that were being awarded – check out our guide to the best drama movies.