Will Smith Banned from Oscars Ceremony for Next 10 Years After Chris Rock Slap, Academy Decides

Will Smith formally resigned from the Academy a week ago, saying he would "accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate"

Nearly two weeks after Will Smith hit Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided on a repercussion under its guidelines.

On Friday, the Academy's Board of Governors met virtually to discuss the situation, ultimately determining that "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," according to a letter sent by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson and obtained by PEOPLE.

"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," they wrote.

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Addressing Rock and hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, Rubin and Hudson wrote, "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."

Smith, 53, said in a statement via his rep, "I accept and respect the Academy's decision."

The meeting was originally set for April 18 but was pushed up to April 8 since Smith formally resigned from the Academy on April 1. With expulsion off the table, Academy president David Rubin made moves to expedite the process for any possible sanctions, writing in a memo, "It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion."

Will Smith
Will Smith accepts Oscar for Best Actor on March 27. Neilson Barnard/Getty

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After the ceremony, the Academy announced that it "officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences" and shared the organization's Standards of Conduct that "provide an ethical framework for Academy members." The Academy stated, "Members should act in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the Academy."

Unacceptable conduct includes "physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome." The Standards of Conduct also say that if a member is found to have violated the standards, "the Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy's Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership."

Days after publicly apologizing to Rock and admitting his actions were wrong, Smith resigned from the Academy last Friday, and the Academy formally accepted the resignation.

The King Richard actor said in a statement via his rep at the time, "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."

94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken," he continued. "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."

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

Whoopi Goldberg — who is among the Academy's Board of Governors — recently said on The View that she thinks Smith's career will bounce back from the Oscars controversy: "He'll be fine, he'll be back. No worries." Other members of the board include Ava DuVernay, Steven Spielberg, Laura Dern and Rita Wilson.

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