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Will Smith responds to Academy’s 10-year Oscars ban

The actor was banned from attending an academy event or program for the next 10 years.
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Will Smith has released a statement after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors announced their decision following his controversial actions at the 2022 Oscars.

On Friday, the organization’s board of governors banned the “King Richard” star from attending the Academy Awards — and any academy-related events and programs — for the next 10 years.

In a statement to NBC News following the decision, Smith simply expressed, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”

During the March 27 ceremony, Smith got visibly upset and slapped Chris Rock onstage after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. The “Red Table Talk” host has previously spoken about her hair loss and alopecia.

Many believed the incident between Smith and Rock was a bit, before Smith returned to his seat and started yelling profanities at Rock, who kept calm and continued to present the nominees for best documentary.

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RELATED: Will Smith banned from Oscars ceremony for 10 years following Chris Rock incident

“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,” academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a letter obtained by NBC News. 

Rubin and Hudson expressed that they “did not adequately address the situation” after it happened, as they were “unprepared for the unprecedented.” They also extended a message of “deep gratitude” to 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.”

They concluded by noting that they hope this step can “begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

Rock’s representative did not immediately respond to a request by NBC News for comment regarding the academy’s latest decision.

After the academy originally condemned the actor’s actions following the telecast, Smith took full responsibility for his actions. He first apologized to the organization and viewers in a statement the following day, before later releasing a second statement apologizing to Rock.

While Rock has yet to officially make comments about the altercation. He did, however, address it in his first stand-up show days after.

“I don’t have a bunch of s--- about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened,” he told the audience. “So, at some point I’ll talk about that s---. And it will be serious and funny.” 

Last week, Smith had announced his resignation from the academy, writing in part, “I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct.”

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