Will Smith's 10-year Oscars ban described as pathetic and insufficient

Will Smith's 10-year Oscars ban described as pathetic and insufficient

April 9, 2022

‘He should have been charged with assault’: Will Smith’s ten-year Oscars ceremony ban is slammed as ‘pathetic’ by Chris Rock’s called him to be stripped of award

  • Smith is barred from attending any Academy events for the next ten years but he can keep his Oscar
  • He had already resigned from the Academy, taking the option away from them to kick him out
  • Many said that they felt the punishment was too soft and that the 53-year-old should have been charged with assault or been stripped of his Oscar 
  • Chris Rock’s brother Kenny said earlier this week that Smith should have had his award taken away from him 
  • Smith slapped host Chris Rock on March 27 for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head
  • He later won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard 

Will Smith’s 10-year ban from the Oscars has been judged insufficient by many film fans, with several calling for the Hollywood star to be charged with assault or be stripped of his best actor award.

Smith, 53, said on Friday that he accepted his punishment from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – meted out in response to him hitting Chris Rock on stage during the ceremony.

Yet many felt it was not harsh enough.

‘Money doesn’t buy class. He should have been charged with assault!’ said one.

‘If any one of us would have done this, we’d be still sitting in jail waiting for bail. Only 17 million viewers as witnesses!’

A second agreed: ‘Will Smith should be charged with assault- that is what it was in front on millions of viewers. It is such a shame because Will is such a talented actor. I even think he is genuine in his regret.

‘Still needs to be charged – other persons would be.’

Rock told LAPD that he did not want to press charges. 

Infamous: Rock was slapped by Smith after making a joke about wife Jada’s bald head while presenting Best Documentary at the Oscars last Sunday

One said that other award ceremonies should follow suit and ban Smith.

‘It’s effectively a life sentence. Will Smith won’t suddenly return to the Oscars after ten years. SAG should do the same.’

Another agreed the punishment was insufficient, saying that Smith should have returned his Oscar in disgrace and been imprisoned.

‘Will Smith should have to return his Oscar and serve time. Whatever is going on in his troubled marriage doesn’t warrant smacking an innocent person who is just trying to do his job.’

Another said: ‘Good, #WillSmith is a complete asshat and he should be charged with assault. #ChrisRock showed remarkable aplomb in the face of Smith’s mantrum.’ 

One angry film fan said: ‘He’s a DISGRACE to the industry & POOR REPRESENTATIVE of family values. He should return his Oscar & check into anger management program.


‘His movies should be boycotted.

‘He deserves no recognition.’

Some, however, said it was the right call.

‘Will Smith banned from the Oscars for ten years,’ tweeted Australian journalist Avi Yemini.

‘Finally, some sense.

‘Jada will have to go alone.

‘Let’s hope Chris Rock returns to put the control freak’s name back in his mouth.

‘I’ll tune in for that.’ 

Chris Rock’s 42-year-old younger brother Kenny told the Los Angeles Times that he has trouble repeatedly watching the now infamous moment involving his brother from last week’s Oscars ceremony. 

He said Smith should be stripped of the Best Actor trophy.

He said: ‘It eats at me watching it over and over again because you’ve seen a loved one being attacked and there’s nothing you can do about it.

‘Every time I’m watching the videos, it’s like a rendition that just keeps going over and over in my head.’ 

Kenny continued to express his distaste for the A-list actor’s actions.

He said: ‘My brother was no threat to him and you just had no respect for him at that moment.

‘You just belittled him in front of millions of people that watch the show.’ 

Smith gave a tearful apology when collecting his Oscar for Best Actor after the slap on March 27

Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes, in the days after the show, slammed the Academy, calling their actions ‘gross’ for allowing Smith to remain in the theater, and said his behavior made her feel ‘physically ill.’ 

‘It was sickening,’ Sykes said in a televised interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 

‘I felt physically ill and I’m still a little traumatized by it.’  

Sykes told Ellen she was returning to the theater from her trailer when the slap happened. 

She said ‘when I got to the monitor backstage, I just saw Will leaving the stage, and everything was quiet. And I was like, ‘What happened, what happened?!” 

Sykes added that when she saw the video replay, she said it made her feel sick. 

And said she was shocked when Smith was allowed to stay in the theater to accept his Oscar and enjoy the rest of the show. 

Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes slammed the Academy for allowing Smith to remain in the theater Sunday after he slapped Chris Rock, a display she said made her feel ‘physically ill’

Sykes told Ellen she was returning to the theater from her trailer when the slap happened. She walked into a silent theater and had the same question others did, ‘what is happening’

Sykes told Ellen during the interview that Smith should have been removed from the building immediately after he slapped Rock.

‘For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award…. I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ she said.  

‘This is just the wrong message. You assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building, and that’s it. 

‘But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross. I wanted to be able run out after he won and say, ‘Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight…’ 

Sykes, who made her hosting debut alongside Amy Schumer and Regina Hall Sunday night, said she knows Smith apologized to Rock, but pointed out, ‘No one has apologized to us.’

‘We worked really hard to put that show together — so I’m like, what the hell is this?,’ Sykes said.

‘We were the hosts, this is ‘our house,’ we’re gonna take care of y’all tonight and no one has apologized to us,’ Sykes told DeGeneres. 

‘And we worked really had to put that show together.’ 

But Sykes said she did receive an apology from the one person who she said did not owe her one. 

She explained that she ran into Rock at a party that night, and he told her ‘I’m so sorry!’

‘I was like, ‘Why are YOU apologizing?’ He was like, ‘It was supposed to be your night, you and Amy and Regina. And this is now going to be about this.’ 

Her comments come just hours after fellow co-host Amy Schumer weighed in on the incident, saying she is ‘still triggered and traumatized’ by the ‘disturbing’ moment.

In a post shared to her Instagram account in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Schumer, 40, said that she is still feeling the impact of the on-stage altercation.

‘Still triggered and traumatized,’ she wrote on Instagram early Wednesday. 

‘I love my friend Chris Rock and believe he handled it like a pro. Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend Questlove and the whole thing was so disturbing. 

‘So much pain in Will Smith… 

‘Anyway I’m still in shock and stunned and sad. Im proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah. Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed.’ 

Schumer – who has been close friends with Rock for several years – tried to make a joke out of the incident, jokingly asking the audience if she had ‘missed anything’ and noting that ‘there’s, like, a different vibe in here’ when she returned to her hosting duties in the minutes after Smith slapped Rock on-stage. 

Shocking: Oscars co-host Amy Schumer said she is ‘still triggered and traumatized’ after Will Smith stormed onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock on Sunday

Schumer, 40, wrote in a post to to plug her TV series, Life & Beth: ”But for real. Still triggered and traumatized. I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro’

Co-hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes speak onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Sunday 

Jim Carrey, 60, led the condemnation of Smith, and said he was aghast by the adoration with which Smith was received after the attack. 

‘I was sickened by the standing ovation,’ he said, referring to when Smith took home the Best Actor award not long after the slap incident. 

‘I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse. It really felt like this is a clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.’

Benedict Cumberbatch, a fellow best actor nominee, as well as best director nominee Paul Thomas Anderson and actress Maya Rudolph were some of the stars who stood for Smith’s win. Venus and Serena Williams, whose father was portrayed by Smith in King Richard, also stood. 

Carrey, who briefly overlapped with Rock in the early 90s on Fox’s In Living Color, claimed Rock didn’t file charges about the slap because he ‘didn’t want the hassle’ and suggested Smith should have been arrested. 

‘I’d have announced this morning that I was suing Will for $200 million because that video’s gonna be there forever. It’s gonna be ubiquitous. That insult is gonna last a very long time,’ Carrey said.

The Mask actor seemed to indicate that expressing disapproval of the joke, by saying something on Twitter or even yelling from the audience, wasn’t beyond the pale – but what Smith ended up doing crossed the line.

‘You do not have the right to walk up on stage and smack somebody on the face because they said words,’ Carrey said. 

Jim Carrey and Will Smith during Nickelodeon’s 16th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards 2003

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey slammed the audience at Sunday’s Academy Awards for giving Will Smith a standing ovation following his now infamous slap of Chris Rock

Benedict Cumberbatch, a fellow Best Actor nominee, as well as Best Director nominee Paul Thomas Anderson and actress Maya Rudolph, were some of the stars who stood for Smith’s win

Venus and Serena Williams, whose father Smith portrayed in King Richard, also stood

He suggested that something was ‘going on’ inside of Smith that caused him to do that, and that he acted selfishly.  

‘It didn’t escalate, it came out of nowhere because Will has something going on inside him that’s frustrated and I wish him the best, I really do,’ Carrey said. 

‘I don’t have anything against Will Smith, he’s done great things.

‘It cast a pall over everybody’s shining moment, a lot of people worked really hard to get to that place,’ The Truman Show star added. 

‘It is no mean feat to go through all the stuff you have to go through when you get nominated for an Oscar. 

‘It’s a gauntlet of devotion. It was just a selfish moment.’ 

Marshall Herskovitz, president emeritus of the Producers Guild of America, was among the first to condemn Smith, tweeting shortly after the attack that Smith had ‘disgraced our entire community’. 

He said: ‘I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith. He disgraced our entire community tonight.’  

Herskovitz accused those who defended the actor of ‘moral cowardice’.

‘People standing up and applauding after the first assault in 94 years of Oscar history. Moral cowardice,’ he said.  

Several Hollywood celebrities denounced Smith’s actions.

Alec Baldwin posted to Instagram and Twitter his condemnation of Smith’s behavior.

‘I’m sorry the Oscars turned into the Jerry Springer Show,’ he said. 

Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith attend the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party

The actor put on a brave face for photographers after his big moment was undermined by his violent outburst

Comedian and director Judd Apatow called the display ‘pure out of control rage and violence’, claiming that Smith ‘could have killed’ Rock. 

He wrote: ‘Seems like Will Smith’s plan to get comedian and the world to not make jokes about him is not going to pan out. 

‘The Williams family must be furious. Pure narcissism.’

Actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner tweeted: ‘Will Smith owes Chris Rock a huge apology. There is no excuse for what he did. 

‘He’s lucky Chris is not filing assault charges. The excuses he made tonight were bulls**t’. 

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill dubbed it the ‘ugliest Oscar moment ever’. 

He added: ‘Stand-up comics are very adept at handling hecklers. Violent physical assault… not so much.’ 

In a statement on Friday, the Academy criticized Smiths ‘unacceptable’ and ‘harmful’ behavior that ‘overshadowed’ the entire evening.

‘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. 

‘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.

‘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.’ 

In a statement on Friday afternoon after the decision was reached, Smith told Deadline: ‘I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.’ 

He had already resigned from the Academy last Friday, taking the decision out of their hands to rescind his membership is it did with Harvey Weinstein. 

Smith’s wife Jada will still be allowed to attend in-person events. 

He was then back to his jovial self at the Vanity Fair after-party  


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, 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. 

The 54-person Board of Governors met on Friday morning after furious debate between its 9,000 members raged over the last 12 days in hundreds of WhatsApp groups.  

The slap divided Hollywood and the public, with some insisting he should be stripped of his Oscar and not be rewarded for violence while others said dismissed it and mocked it on social media. 

Smith slapped Rock on-stage after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett-Smith has been open in the past about her struggles with alopecia. 

After the slap, Smith returned to his seat and screamed ‘keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth.’ 

He the then won the Oscar for Best Actor in his role as Richard Williams, in the film King Richard. He used his speech to apologize to the Academy and to Rock, and he later posted an apology on Instagram. 

Rock has kept quiet on the issue, speaking out only to say he was ‘processing’ what happened.  

With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences set to determine Friday whether Will Smith will be stripped of his Best Actor Oscar after slapping comedian Chris Rock on the show’s stage, it appears there may be a split among those making the decision.

The organization’s 54-member board of governors will make the ultimate call – but are having a difficult time coming to a consensus and are ‘almost entirely split,’ a source told The Sun. 

Many said their hesitation toward taking the drastic step of rescinding Smith’s Oscar was based on the fact that sexual predators Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski have not had their Oscars taken away.

‘The decision was made earlier this week to expedite the hearing in the wake of Will’s resignation, and during that call it was clear that the decision would go to the wire.’ 

‘The general consensus is that it would be madness and rank hypocrisy to take such a stand now,’ the source said.

‘But, as we all know, Hollywood is a law unto itself, frankly.’ 

The academy’s 9,000 members are also apparently split on the decision, the source said.

The discussion is going on in ‘hundreds’ of WhatsApp groups containing the thousands of members.   

David Rubin, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the board Wednesday that he’s moving a meeting originally scheduled for April 18 to this Friday at 9 a.m. PST.

‘Following Mr. Smith’s resignation of his Academy membership on Friday, April 1, suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility, and the legally prescribed timetable no longer applies.  

‘It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion,’ he wrote in a letter.

Apology: Will has since apologized in an Instagram post, stating that he was ’embarrassed’ by his actions, which shocked the ceremony attendees, producers and viewers

The board has a few punishments it could hand out. They could make Smith ineligible for future awards or bar him from attending future ceremonies temporarily or permanently. 

They could also strip Smith, 53, of the Academy Award for best actor that he won less than an hour after the on-stage assault – though the last time the board rescinded an award was more than 50 years ago. 

Rubin said the meeting was only originally scheduled for April 18 to give Smith enough notice, which is no longer necessary, according to Variety, which first published Rubin’s letter. 

The virtual meeting will take place over Zoom. The Academy has only rescinded one Oscar. In 1969, it found that the documentary Young Americans, which won best documentary that year, had actually been released in 1967. 

‘The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,’ Smith said.

‘I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.’

Though the board could technically take back his statuette – given for his portrayal of tennis coach Richard Williams in King Richard – there’s little precedent for such a drastic move.

Tough times: Chris Rock was spotted Tuesday looking somber on a solo outing in New York City after his brother slammed Will Smith and said the Academy should strip him of his Oscar 

‘It eats at me’: Meanwhile his 42-year-old younger brother Kenny told the Los Angeles Times that he has had trouble repeatedly watching the now infamous moment involving his brother from last week’s Oscars ceremony 

Speaking on The View the day after the March 27 ceremony, actress Whoopi Goldberg, who is a serving Governor for the Academy’s Actors branch, defended Will’s actions, reasoning that ‘sometimes you behave badly.’

Smith slapped Rock, 57, in front of the world on live television after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss, caused by alopecia. 

Whoopi said on Monday’s show: ‘I think it was a lot of stuff probably built up. 

‘I think he overreacted… I think he had one of those moments where it was like [God damn] it, just stop. I get it, not everybody acts the way we would like them to act under pressure. And he snapped…

‘Sometimes you get to a point when you behave badly. I myself have behaved badly on occasion.’ 

Whoopi’s co-host Sunny Hostin said that she was ‘surprised [Will] wasn’t escorted out’, and questioned if there was the possibility of Smith’s Oscar being taken away.

Whoopi replied: ‘We’re not going to take that Oscar from him.

‘There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said, ‘Listen, I’m not pressing any charges.”

Speaking to Us Weekly, an unnamed insider said Pinkett-Smith wishes her husband never slapped Rock.

‘It was in the heat of the moment and it was him overreacting,’ the source said. ‘He knows that, she knows that. They’re in agreement that he overreacted.’

They also alleged that Pinkett Smith is ‘not a wallflower’, nor ‘one of these women that needs protecting’.

‘He didn’t need to do what he did,’ they added.

Rock, on the other hand, has barely addressed the assault at his stand-up gigs.

Appearing at a surprise set at New York’s Comedy Cellar on Tuesday night, Rock said: ‘Lower your expectations, I’m not going to address that s***,’ a source told Page Six. 

Earlier that day, he was spotted walking around the city by himself. The 57-year-old comedian walked with his hands in his bomber jacket Tuesday morning. 

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