A Friday meeting between the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors led to the decision to ban Will Smith from the Oscars and additional Academy events for the next 10 years. The decision is a result of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the ceremony two weeks ago.
“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,” they wrote.
The Academy added, “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.”
Following the announcement, Will Smith released a brief statement to PEOPLE magazine: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Will Smith also released an apology to Rock on Instagram and announced his formal resignation from the Academy last week.