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Will Smith says he will 'accept and respect the Academy’s decision'

Will Smith wins the Oscar for Best Actor in ’King Richard’ at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. Picture: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Will Smith wins the Oscar for Best Actor in ’King Richard’ at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. Picture: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Published Apr 9, 2022

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Will Smith says he will “accept and respect the Academy’s decision” to ban him from the Oscars for a decade on Friday.

The “King Richard” star will take his punishment from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences without any protest after he slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia at the 94th Academy Awards last month.

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The 53-year-old actor told Page Six: “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

Will - who took home the Best Actor gong at the 2022 award ceremony moments after the incident - had already apologised to the 57-year-old comic and resigned from the industry body but today the consequences were extended.

In a letter authored by the Academy’s president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson condemned Will’s “unacceptable and harmful behaviour”.

It read: “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 behaviour 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.

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“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.”

The statement concluded: “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, 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.”

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