The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors met on Friday morning to debate the consequences of actor Will Smith’s slap of presenter Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards telecast and voted to bar Smith from all Academy events for ten years, including the Oscars.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith, who resigned from the Academy last week, said in a statement shortly after.
Here is the Academy’s statement:
“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.
We did not properly handle the situation in the room during our telecast. We apologize for this. We had a chance to set an example for our guests, viewers, and Academy family throughout the world, but we totally failed because we were unprepared for the unexpected.
The day following the incident, Smith apologized to Rock on social media.
Smith reportedly contacted the show’s producer, Will Packer, the next morning, apologizing and expressing his embarrassment, according to the producer.
Packer said officials from the Los Angeles Police Department were ready to arrest Smith for battery during the interview with “GMA,” but Rock said he didn’t want that.
The letter added, “This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a greater goal of ensuring the safety of our performers and guests and restoring trust in the Academy.” “We also hope that today will mark the start of a period of healing and repair for all those involved and affected.”