Will Smith earned a 10-year ban from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday after the Board of Governors reprimanded him for striking Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on March 10. Here are the reactions of the Academy members to this ban:
Carol Connors, a member of the music branch, seemed content with Smith’s sentence:
“He’s not going to be able to present next year, and I think hurray for that. I don’t think he should be allowed on the Academy stage. What he did on the world stage was unacceptable.”
He also added, “Can you imagine what must have gone through Chris’ mind at that moment? And I think he handled it with great dignity.”
The ten-year ban was deemed excessive by Stephen Potter of the sound branch:
“I have to say I’m surprised at the Academy’s formal response of a 10-year ban on Mr. Smith, which is harsher than I imagined it would be. Ten years is quite a long time and it’s possible this incident will mostly be forgotten before this term concludes.”
The executive branch’s Larry Gleason chastised the Academy for not acting quickly enough following the slap:
“The Academy dropped the ball by not taking action when it happened. Too late and too little. After the La La Land fiasco, you would have thought they would have handled it better. Sad event for all concerned.”
The producer branch’s Don Hahn held out hope that the actor will be able to reflect on his actions and benefit from this experience.
The Academy’s actions in the aftermath of the unexpected incident “disturbed” documentary branch’s Chuck Braverman.
Harry Shearer of the actors’ branch felt that the decade-long ban seemed oddly parental and did not believe that Will Smith would outgrow his ‘slapping phase’ by then.
Related: Chris Rock refuses to talk about the slapping incident till he gets paid for it.
According to the California-based Desert Sun newspaper, the comedian and presenter stated this during his performance in Fantasy Springs on Friday night: “I’m OK, I have a whole show and I’m not talking about that until I get paid. Life is good. I got my hearing back.”
On March 30, Rock spoke momentarily on the controversies at a sold-out event in Boston, Massachusetts. “How was your weekend?” Rock asked the crowd at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre. “I’m still processing what happened, so at some point, I’ll talk about that sh*t.”