As conversations continue to be had across communities about the impact of Will Smith's actions at the 64th annual Oscars, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences has come to a decision about the actions they plan to take against him. The Academy announced that Smith will be prohibited from attending the Academy Awards or any other events hosted by the Academy for ten years. This decision comes two weeks after Smith smacked comedian and presenter Chris Rock at the televised award show. A week prior, the King Richard actor resigned from his post with the Academy as a result of the incident.
As previously reported by EBONY, Smith stated the following as his reasons for stepping down: “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to 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. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”
An update regarding the disciplinary sanctions to be place on the actor was released in an open letter written up by the Academy's Board of Governors, which consists of 54 members. In response to the letter, Smith issued a statement about his acceptance of the verdict.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage. Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. 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. 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,” said the Academy's statement.
However, what is left unclear in this decision is whether or not Smith will be allowed to be nominated for future films that he may star in. Since this situation took place, many individuals and entities within the entertainment fields have vocalized their disdain and general thoughts about Smith's actions. Some of his current projects, including those from Netflix and Sony, have been paused as a result.