I still remember the morning of March 28, when I woke up to the news of something huge happening at the 94th Academy Awards. It was the untoward incident that took place between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock on stage, that left social media, moreover, Twitter buzzing with memes on the incident. Everything that followed after, has resulted in a 10 years ban on actor Will Smith. According to a statement issued by the academy, it is said that Will is not allowed to attend the Oscars or any other events held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the coming decade.
Here's what the Academy's statement reads...
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, that 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.
After this statement was issued yesterday, Will Smith responded saying that he accepts and respects the academy's decision.
In case you are unaware of what actually happened, let me tell you, on the night of 27th March while the event was ongoing, Will Smith walked on stage and punched comedian Chris Rock's face. This unfortunate action was a reaction to the comment Chris made about Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. It so happened, that when Chris was invited to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, he made a joke about Jada, saying he looks forward to seeing the sequel to GI Jane, referring to her shaved head and comparing it to Demi Moore's look in GI Jane. Jada has gone bald due to her medical condition of alopecia. The joke didn't seem to go well with Will who went up to the stage and punched Chris.
Later, Will also warned Chris to not take his wife's name out of his mouth. After this when Will won the Best Actor award for King Richard, the actor addressed the altercation he had with Chris.
Watch the video here:
While this incident created a huge uproar, Will issued an apology to Chris the next day.
And while the Academy stated that it did not condone violence in any form, its proceedings began on 30th March. While a decision was expected on April 18, on 1st April, Will resigned from the academy, after which the meet was moved to this Friday and the ban was imposed.
Check out the Academy's tweet here:
Since the decision is announced, Twitter has been divided, while some consider it a fair action, others are calling it a slap on the wrist. As things progress on this front, all you and I can do is just wait and watch.