Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock and Receives a ten-year ban.

Is a slap really worth a 10-year ban?

Carl Harding, Writer

After the shocking slap that happened at the Oscars late last month between Chris Rock and Will Smith, Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars physically and virtually for the next ten years. Now, Smith cannot return to the ceremony until April 8th, 2032. During the Oscars, Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, on how she looked like G.I Jane because she has no hair. Pinkett Smith has been dealing with Alopecia which causes hair loss since 2018. Enraged, Smith walked up onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock telling him to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth. On March 28, Smith apologized on Instagram saying that his behavior was “unacceptable and inexcusable.”  The academy released a letter written by President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson stating “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.”

      Smith resigned from the Academy on April 1, prior to the ban, as he was facing the backlash of his actions. Few people have ever been banned from the Oscars Academy and the last time this ever happened was with Adam Kimmel back in March of 2021 when the Academy found out that he was a registered sex offender. 

 After this shocking news, many people including celebrities have taken to social media to discuss the ban that was given to Smith.  Many people are outraged that Will Smith received this ban because it was just a slap to the face compared to other celebrities who had done much worse things and didn’t receive a ban. People on social media have cited things that have damaged the Academy’s reputation such as when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry without her consent in the 2003 Oscar Rewards. A user on Twitter by the name of  MayaScientist recalls,Adrien Brody suddenly kissed Halle Berry on the lips, without her consent, did it live on stage in front of everyone. People laughed it off as a funny story, but that violation of consent is literally sexual assault. How long was he banned for? Oh, zero.” 

    While some people like MayaScientist believe the situation is being blown out of proportion, others such as Fredrick Joseph believe this situation has been brought to life due to race. Joseph tweets, “The ten-year ban they gave Will Smith feels very “make a lesson of this Black person”.

Others believe the ban was justified because technically, Smith physically assaulted Rock over a joke. This includes some celebrities, such as singer Carol Conners. Conners felt the punishment fit the crime, citing that ten years seemed appropriate. Additionally, Connors voiced support for the Academy banning Smith from presenting next year, despite his 2022 Best Actor win. Finally, Conners gave fans her own insight on the incident itself stating,  But I’m glad he will not present next year, after what he did. What if Chris would have fallen down and hit his head? The one guy is what, 140 pounds soaking wet, and the other guy played Muhammad Ali. Can you imagine what must have gone through Chris’ mind at that moment?  said singer Carol Conners. 

Some people believe that Will Smith’s Oscar should be taken away from him because of his actions. Academy member and movie director Chuck Braveman some extended views about how his committee should handle the incident: “As a longtime member, I am disturbed by many of the actions and moves at the Academy. The bigger issue than Will Smith is whether the Academy cares more about the value of the Oscar or the money from the network broadcast. Being voted on by your peers is everything. Comic book films and franchise movies would be nominated every year if the show was written by a network buyer, but that would be self-defeating and the Oscar would be a joke. Spending large for the museum has put the Academy into a financial hole. But a physical assault is totally unacceptable. Smith’s Oscar should be revoked and returned,”  Braverman stated.  

Currently, Smith is remaining silent since the ban was implemented and has stayed away from social media.