celebrity

Will Smith has been banned for 10 years, and everything else that has happened since the Oscars slap.

To, uh, state the obvious... something unexpected happened at the Oscars this year.

ICYMI: Halfway through the ceremony, Chris Rock came on stage to present the Oscar for Best Documentary. 

He made a few gags and then said to Jada Pinkett Smith, who was sitting in the front row with her husband Will Smith, "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see you." 

Watch the moment it went down here. Post continues below. 

It was a reference to the 1997 film starring Demi Moore, whose character had a shaved head. The joke by Rock was undoubtedly poking fun at Pinkett Smith, who currently has a shaved head as she's been struggling with the auto-immune disease alopecia, which causes severe hair loss. 

Will Smith then walked up onto the stage, struck Rock in the face, and then sat back down. He then yelled out to Rock, "Keep my wife's name out of your f**king mouth." Twice. 

Rock then said: "Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me. It was a G.I. Jane joke. That was the greatest night in the history of television."

Initially, both the Oscars' audience and people watching on from home were confused. Was it a publicity stunt? A joke? But it quickly became apparent that it was not a 'bit'.

Here's everything that has happened since.

Will Smith has been banned from the Academy Awards for 10 years.

Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years after the Best Actor recipient slapped Chris Rock, 12 days ago.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the decision at a meeting of its board of governors.

"The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year," Academy president David Rubin and chief executive Dawn Hudson said in a statement.

"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. 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.

"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."

ADVERTISEMENT

Will Smith responded to the announcement, saying he "accepts and respects" the Academy's decision.

The immediate aftermath.

Immediately after the pair's altercation, Rock returned to presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary, albeit a little shaken.

He was then captured shaking his head as he walked off-stage.

In the commercial break, onlookers saw Will Smith being comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry. He wiped tears from his eyes before sitting back down as the show resumed. 

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Nine, several other celebrities comforted Smith and Pinkett Smith in the commercial breaks including Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

Then, only 20 minutes later, Smith won Best Actor for his performance in King Richard.

He cried throughout his acceptance speech, saying: "Love makes you do crazy things." 

"Denzel [Washington] said to me, 'At your highest moment, be careful — that’s when devil comes for you,'" he said, before adding through tears, "I want to apologise to the academy, I want to apologise to my fellow nominees."

At the end of his speech, he joked: "I hope the academy invites me back." 

The Academy says they asked Smith to leave the Oscars, but he refused.

It has come out that the Academy asked Smith to leave the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars were being held, but Smith refused to do so. Of course, one of the biggest bits of scrutiny regarding the handling of that moment was Smith not being removed from the auditorium.

"Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognise we could have handled the situation differently."

The end of the Academy's statement read: "Mr. Smith's actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologise to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment."

Celebrities react online.

After the incident, celebrities quickly shared their feelings on social media. 

Smith and Pinkett Smith's son, Jaden simply wrote: "And that's how we do it".

ADVERTISEMENT

On the other hand, comedian Kathy Griffin condemned Smith for "physically assaulting a comedian".

"It's a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a comedian," she wrote. 

"Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theatres."

Actor Colman Domingo said to Variety: "I thought, he's from West Philly, just like I'm from West Philly. We're very passionate people."

"I just think in the moment, his passion probably got the best of him," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Other celebrities had mixed responses to the incident on social media:

ADVERTISEMENT

Perhaps most interesting was Richard Williams' response to the incident.

Serena and Venus Williams' father was referenced several times in Smith's Oscars acceptance speech as the actor compared himself to the character he portrayed in King Richard.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like Richard Williams... but love will make you do crazy things," Smith said.

"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world."

But Williams didn't agree with Smith's messaging.

"We don’t know all the details of what happened," he said via his son Chavoita LeSane to NBC News. "But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defence."

The Vanity Fair afterparty.

After the Oscars, Will Smith and his family attended the Vanity Fair after party where Smith appeared to be in good spirits.

"Will was with his family and seemed pretty nonchalant about what happened," a source told E! News

"He was celebrating his wins. He was in a good mood dancing and having fun. He was chatting with his kids and laughing. They were all acting like nothing had happened."

Smith was also filmed rapping along to his songs 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' and 'Miami' while waving his Oscar in the air.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the LA Times, Smith's son Jaden proudly defended his father at the after party, telling Timothée Chalamet: "That’s how you respect a woman."

ADVERTISEMENT

Where was Chris Rock?

According to E! Online, Chris Rock attended Gucci's 14th annual 'The Party' at the home of Guy Oseary. 

The private event had no social media allowed inside and had attendees including Oscars co-host Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Khloé Kardashian.

Will Smith apologises.

On March 30, Smith addressed the incident on social media calling his behaviour "unacceptable and inexcusable".

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

"I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.  

"I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

"I am a work in progress."

Oscars host says she has been left "traumatised".

Oscars host and comedian Wanda Sykes spoke on Smith's slapping of Rock, telling The Ellen DeGeneres Show she feels "traumatised" after the experience.

She said to DeGeneres: "I just felt so awful for my friend Chris. And it was sickening... I physically felt ill, and I'm still a little traumatised by it."

ADVERTISEMENT

Sykes went on to explain that she wasn't impressed with the Academy for allowing Smith to go back to his seat after the slap - and then be allowed to accept the award for Best Actor minutes later. 

"I was like, 'How gross is this?' This is just the wrong message. If 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."

Sykes then joked that when Smith won Best Actor, she wanted to run out and say, "Uh, unfortunately Will couldn't be here tonight."

There have been several media reports that Sykes was Rock's "wing woman" during the aftermath of the slap and at Guy Oseary's after party event. 

While at the after party, Sykes says Rock came up to her and apologised, which left her confused, saying in reply: "Why are you apologising?"

Sykes said Rock told her it was "supposed to be" her night: "You, and Amy and Regina, y'all were doing such a great job. I'm so sorry this is now going to be about this."

Listen to The Spill. Post continues after audio.


Fellow Oscars host and comedian Amy Schumer also shared on Instagram that she too felt "triggered and traumatised" over the incident.

She said: "I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro. Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend and the whole thing was so disturbing."

Chris Rock publicly speaks for the first time since the Oscars.

Speaking today to the audience at his sold-out comedy show in Boston, Rock said he is "still processing" exactly what happened on the Oscars stage.

When he began his comedy show, he asked the crowd: "Sooooo, how was your weekend?" And that was met with a long-standing ovation from the audience. It was then that Rock became quite teary. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Let me be all misty and s**t. I don't have a bunch of s**t to say about that, so if you came here for that... I had written a whole show before this weekend.

"I'm still processing what happened, so at some point I'll talk about that s**t. It'll be serious. It'll be funny, but right now I'm going to tell some jokes."

And we went on with the show. 

Will Smith resigns from the Academy.

On April 2, Will Smith resigned from the motion picture academy saying he will accept any further punishment the Academy deems necessary.

In a statement to People, Smith said: "I have directly responded to the Academy's disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. 

"My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. 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. 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.

"I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film, so, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate." 

ADVERTISEMENT

David Rubin, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has also issued a statement.

"We have received and accepted Mr Will Smith's immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," Rubin said. 

"We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr Smith for violations of the Academy's Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18."

Could Will Smith lose his Oscar?

Short answer: probably not.

In the days after the incident, the Board of Governors held an emergency meeting to discuss the consequences for Smith. He now faces "suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted".

The statement from the Academy was highly damning, citing the standards of conduct and Smith's violations of "inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behaviour, and compromising the integrity of the Academy".

Smith, who won the Oscar for Best Actor was given 15 days notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and has the opportunity to provide a written response.

In a statement to CNN, the Academy Awards addressed the incident condemning the actions of Will Smith.

"The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show," it said. 

"We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

At least a dozen members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, then met virtually the next morning to discuss a response according to CNN.

The meeting was described as "heated" and "divided".

The following day, Whoopi Goldberg addressed the Academy's response as a member of the Board of Governors, saying on The View: "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’ll do."

As for what happens now, the Los Angeles Police Department made a statement, saying: "LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report."

ADVERTISEMENT

Denzel Washington responds: "Who are we to condemn?"

The actor was one of the first to speak to Smith after the Oscar slap and has since spoken out about the incident. 

While at a Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., Washington provided some context behind Smith's decision to assault Rock. 

"There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong," he said. "The devil goes, 'Oh, no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite.' Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got a hold of him that night."

Washington revealed he prayed over Smith on Oscar night. 

"Fortunately there were people there, not just me but others. Tyler Perry, came immediately right over there with me," he explained. "Some prayers. I don’t wanna say what we talked about. But there but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn? 

"I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer. The way I saw it. The way I see it."

This article was originally published on March 29, 2022, and was updated on April 9, 2022.

Feature Image: Getty.

Love watching TV and movies? Take our survey now to go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher.