Following the “tragic incident” at the Oscars – where Will Smith slapped renowned comedian Chris Rock – Will had resigned from the Academy Awards a week later. His decision came after the mass backlash that followed his online apology. Fans across the US and beyond responded with frustration. And no one even agreed that it was a genuine apology. “The damage has been done, Will. We have seen your true face. You should have apologized right on the spot. Not here on IG.” Commented one Instagram user who was once a diehard fan of Will Smith.
Since there was so much going on, the Academy seemed nonchalant about the incident. After two weeks of the incident, however, it turned out that board members were giving it serious heed behind closed doors. Last Friday, they came up with a decision where the board members reportedly “unanimously agreed” to ban Will Smith from the Oscars events.
The Gentle Confession
Announcing the decision, the board said: “Effective from April 8, 2022, Mr. Will Smith shall be, and is, banned from all Academy programs and events. Mr. Will Smith is not permitted to be a part of or attend any Academy Awards and Oscars event for the next ten years.” Moreover, the statement mentioned that the Academy “will disallow Will Smith from any kind of virtual, remote, or in-person events (of the academy.)”
Nonetheless, the Academy confessed that they failed to handle the “unbecoming situation” during the telecast. Commenting on the Academy’s timely response, Dawn Hudson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Academy, said: “We are deeply sorry that we couldn’t effectively mitigate and calm down the situation during the live telecast. We are sorry! I must include that we were petrified by the incident but the response from Chris was phenomenal. We owe heartfelt gratitude to Chris Rock for keeping his cool and handling the heated situation so professionally. He kept up his composure like a real man!” David went on to thank the guests, hosts, and all participants who bore the “unfortunate incident” at the Oscars.
The Decision Will Mark A Protective Measure
The board of the Academy further revealed that the decision to ban Will Smith was unprecedented. Likewise, they said that it has a larger goal. “This decision will mark a protective measure for our upcoming oscar guests, hosts, and nominees.” The Academy also hopes that this decision will “somehow heal the wounds of those who have been impacted.” Nonetheless, Will Smith was reported as saying that he “accepts and respects” the decision of the Academy.