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Will Smith is Banned from the Oscars for 10 Years

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After a seemingly endless back and forth between the Academy and Will Smith, a definitive decision has at long last been passed down from the Academy’s Board of Governors. Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars and all Academy events for the next ten years. The ban begins on April 8, 2022 and extends through the same date in 2023. The decision comes twelve days after the telecast when Smith ascended to the Oscars stage and slapped Chris Rock following a joke that Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

In a statement released along with the decision, Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said, “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.” That decision doesn’t exclude Smith from being nominated for the awards, despite his inability to accept it during the ceremony.

Notably, the Academy did not address any calls to revoke Smith’s trophy. Doing so would be unprecedented, especially considering that Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, both Oscar winners with serious criminal histories, have both retained their accolades. In fact, only one Academy Award has been revoked, in the 60s, and it was for a clerical error regarding eligibility.

Per Variety, Smith responded promptly after the decision was made, saying only, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” In the nearly two weeks since the Oscars, the Academy has had a constantly shifting stance on the incident, citing varying degrees of attempts to have Smith ejected from the ceremony following the altercation. (Those claims were always refuted by sources at the ceremony.) As for whether Smith will be nominated in that period is yet to be seen, though it’s difficult to imagine that the Academy would be willing to vote for a performer unable to attend and accept. Right?

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