“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
Smith has been barred from attending any Academy events, including the Oscars, for 10 years after slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage for making fun of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, made the announcement today, April 8, after meeting in Los Angeles to discuss possible sanctions. “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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement on Friday. The statement added: “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.” Smith, 53, had already resigned his membership from the Academy, giving up his voting rights, and said before the disciplinary hearing that he would accept any consequences. The board had been set to meet on April 18 but brought the hearing forward to deal with the incident “in a timely fashion” following the actor’s resignation. In response to the controversial decision,Will Smith allegedly expressed his compliance to the boards decision.