At the Oscar ceremony March 27, Chris Rock was set to present an award when he made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith took offense and proceeded to walk up to the stage and hit Rock. When Rock tried to explain his joke, Smith shouted at him.
Not long after that, Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the audience and the other nominees. He later apologized to Rock.
On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the following letter:
Open letter to our Academy family:
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.
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.
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.
David Rubin, President
Dawn Hudson, CEO