Will Smith Banned From Oscars for 10 Years, Says 'I Accept and Respect' Decision

The decision means the best actor winner won't present the Oscar statue to next year's best actress winner, as is traditional.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned actor Will Smith from attending the Oscars, or other related events and programs, for 10 years. The decision comes after Smith famously walked on stage at the March 27 ceremony and slapped presenter Chris Rock after Rock joked about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. 

The decision means that Smith, who won the best actor Oscar this year for his role in King Richard, will not be able to present the best actress statuette at the 2023 awards. That role typically falls to the previous year's best actor winner.

In a statement on Friday, the Academy said the ceremony was "overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage and apologized for the fact that nothing was done to address the Smith situation after he hit Rock. He was allowed to return to his seat and then return to the stage later to accept his best actor trophy.

"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," the statement said.

The Academy also thanked Rock for "maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances."

Smith had already resigned his academy membership, calling his actions "shocking, painful and inexcusable."

In a statement cited by The New York Times, Smith said "I accept and respect the Academy's decision." 

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