Will Smith reacts to 10-year Oscars ban

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Will Smith has acknowledged the motion picture academy’s decision to ban him from the Oscars for 10 years.

“I accept and respect the academy’s decision,” the actor said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital on Friday.

A rep for the 53-year-old’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

On Friday, the academy announced that Smith was banned from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years following his slap of presenter Chris Rock at this year’s ceremony. The decision came after a meeting of the academy’s board of governors to discuss a response to Smith’s actions.

Will Smith is banned from the Oscars for 10 years following his slap of presenter Chris Rock.
(Getty Images)

“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,” the board of governors said in a letter. 

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. 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.

“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.

Will Smith received his first Oscar for "King Richard" this year.
(Foto AP/Chris Pizzello)

“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.”

Academy President David Rubin called for Friday’s board meeting just days ago. The meeting was originally scheduled for April 18 but was moved up due to Smith’s resignation April 1.

At the time, Rubin informed board members the purpose of the meeting was to “address possible sanctions for Will Smith in response to his actions during the Oscars broadcast on March 27.”

“Following Mr. Smith’s resignation of his academy membership on Friday, April 1, suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility, and the legally prescribed timetable no longer applies. It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion,” the letter signed by Rubin stated.

Smith announced his resignation in a statement April 1, saying he had “betrayed the trust of the academy.”

“I have directly responded to the academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy,” Smith said.

Smith added that he “deprived other nominees and winners” of their chance to celebrate, and said he will accept any further consequences from the board.

“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” he said. “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.”

Will Smith, left, and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the Oscars March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/John Locher)

“Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” Smith added.

Shortly after, Rubin said in a statement that the academy accepted Smith’s resignation.

Smith slapped Rock after Rock cracked a joke about Pinkett Smith’s bald head, referring to 1997 film “G.I. Jane,” starring Demi Moore. Pinkett Smith, 50, has struggled with alopecia.

“Jada, ‘GI Jane 2,’ I can’t wait to see it,” Rock, 57, said while onstage at the Oscars with the actress in attendance.

Jada Pinkett Smith has previously spoken out about having alopecia.
(Getty Images)

“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me,” Rock said after he was slapped by Smith.

“Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth,” Smith said.

When Smith received his award for best actor for his role in “King Richard,” he apologized.

“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” Smith said. “This is a beautiful moment.”

Chris Rock, center, arrives at the Wilbur Theater before a performance March 30, 2022, in Boston.
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Smith apologized once again in an Instagram post the following day, tagging the comedian.

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Rock has been performing stand-up since the Oscars incident. In his first stage appearance since the slap, he told a Boston crowd he’s “still kind of processing what happened.”

“At some point, I’ll talk about that s—, and it will be serious, and it will be funny,” Rock shared.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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