A year after he slapped Chris Rock on the Academy Awards stage, don’t expect to see Will Smith at the Oscars this year.
The actor has been banned from any academy event for 10 years after he walked onto the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and hit Rock on live television. The slap came after Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Later in the show, Smith won best actor for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard.” Traditionally, the best actor winner presents one of the major awards in the following year’s ceremony, but that will not be the case for Smith in 2023.
“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,” the academy said in a statement announcing Smith’s ban in April 2022.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said in response. He pre-emptively resigned from the academy before the announcement by the academy’s Board of Governors.
By resigning, Smith lost the ability to vote for nominees and winners.
Smith was still able to keep the award he won in 2022. And even though he is banned from academy events for 10 years, he is still eligible to be nominated for awards, and even win them, over the next decade. However, if he were to win, he would not be able to accept an award in person.
The 95th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 12. The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
In an attempt to prevent any similar fiascos, the academy said a crisis team will be standing by for the first time this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.