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Will Smith Responds After Academy Bans Him from Attending Oscars Until 2032

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Will Smith is no longer allowed to “attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually,” for the next decade

Will Smith accepts his decade-long ban from the Academy Awards.

The 53-year-old Best Actor winner responded Friday after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors decided to ban him from Oscars ceremonies and other Academy events for the next 10 years after he struck Chris Rock onstage during last month’s award show.

“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

The Academy determined that “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,” per a letter sent by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson and obtained by PEOPLE.

Nearly two weeks after Will Smith hit Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided on a repercussion under its guidelines.

On Friday, the Academy’s Board of Governors met virtually to discuss the situation, ultimately determining that “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,” according to a letter sent by Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson and obtained by PEOPLE.

“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,” they wrote.

 

Addressing Rock and hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, Rubin and Hudson wrote, “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.”

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