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Academy bans Will Smith from Oscars for 10 years – follow live


Moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars

It’s been nearly two weeks since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.

The Academy convened yesterday (8 April) to decide on what “consequences” Smith will face for the incident, which saw the actor hit Rock on stage and swear at him after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” Rock had joked, in an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith stated last year that she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.

Smith, who won the Best Actor prize later in the ceremony, walked on stage and struck Rock, before shouting at him: “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.”

In a statement issued after the incident, the Academy “condemned” Smith’s actions, and said an investigation was being launched into prospective sanctions.

“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night’s show,” said the organisation. “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.”

Smith subsequently resigned from the Academy, but some have speculated that he could be stripped of his Best Actor prize – which he won during this year’s ceremony, for his role in the tennis biopic King Richard.

Follow live updates below.

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‘Sopranos’ actor defends Chris Rock

The actor Stevie Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, has condemned Will Smith’s violent behavior at the Oscars and praised Chris Rock’s self-control.

“Will Smith needs to thank his lucky stars that Chris Rock is as civilized and sophisticated and humble and intelligent and compassionate as he is,” Van Zandt tweeted. “Because if it had been ANYBODY I know, Will Smith would have never made it back to his table.”

Nathan Place10 April 2022 00:00

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Chris Rock says he had ‘no idea’ Jada Pinkett Smith had alopecia

Chris Rock has said little about the Oscars slap incident, but one source has told TMZ the comedian “had no idea” Pinkett Smith has alopecia.

The source also said Rock and Will Smith haven’t spoken to each other about incident, and the two stars went to different Oscars afterparties.

Nathan Place9 April 2022 23:00

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Billy Crystal calls Will Smith slap ‘an assault’

Nine-time Oscars host Billy Crystal has called Will Smith’s slap at the awards show “an assault” and “a most disturbing incident”.

In a recent appearance on Bob Costas’s chat show Back on the Record on HBO Max, Crystal called the altercation a “most disturbing incident, for sure. It was an assault. I’ve had experiences. I hosted the Grammys three times and I’ve been thrown things.”

Nathan Place9 April 2022 22:00

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A look back at Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ documentary

After Chris Rock was slapped for telling a joke about a Black woman’s hair, some pointed out that in 2009, the comedian produced a documentary about that exact subject. Here’s a look back at The Independent’s review of the film, Good Hair:

‘Good Hair’ hits US cinemas

US comedian Chris Rock’s documentary about African American hair culture (opening US-wide October 23) tries to clear up the difference between “good” and “bad” hair.

Nathan Place9 April 2022 21:00

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It was pretty short and sweet, but anyone wanting to read Smith’s full response to the 10-year ban need look no further than here…

Louis Chilton9 April 2022 20:00

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Larry Gleason, an Academy member on the executives branch, said (in the report linked below): “The Academy dropped the ball by not taking action when it happened.

“This after-the-fact punishment is like the old saying, ‘Closing the barn door…’ 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.”

Remember the La La Land fiasco? Seems almost quaint now.

Here’s an old piece of ours explaining exactly what happened during that fateful 2017 Oscar night – which turned out to be only the second most dramatic ceremony of the last decade.

Louis Chilton9 April 2022 19:00

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Chris Rock jokes about Oscars slap: ‘I got my hearing back’

Chris Rock his broken his silence about being slapped at the Oscars to make a joke about it, reports say.

“I’m OK, I have a whole show and I’m not talking about [the Will Smith incident] until I get paid,” the comedian said at a comedy show, according to the Desert Sun. “Life is good. I got my hearing back.”

Nathan Place9 April 2022 18:30

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Whoopi Goldberg is one of the governors of the Academy’s actor’s branch, and her reaction to the slap seemed fairly sympathetic to Smith.

“Sometimes you get to a point when you behave badly,” she said in the aftermath of the incident. “I myself have behaved badly on occasion.”

This week, she addressed the subject again, admitting that some of Will Smith’s future projects “are in question”.

“The question is, does he have a path back?” she continued. “Yes, of course he does… He’ll be fine, he’ll be back. No worries.”

Louis Chilton9 April 2022 18:00

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David Oyelowo says he had racially ‘coded’ encounter after Oscars slap

Actor David Oyelowo says he had a racially “coded” encounter with “an older white gentleman” at an Oscar after-party who told him Will Smith “should have been dragged right out of there.”

“His gossipy lean and the half smile on his face is indicative of what must not be allowed to creep into the aftermath of this incident,” Oyelowo wrote in a column for the Hollywood Reporter. “This incident should not be a springboard for proxy arguments in Hollywood circles about race, respectability and belonging. I’m calling on the good people with good intentions to stay focused on building on the great gains we’ve recently made.”

Nathan Place9 April 2022 17:30

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There’s been no shortage of opinions over the past two weeks – first over the initial incident, now over whether the Academy was right to hand Smith the decade-long ban.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to a number of Academy members about the decision, and recieved a range of responses.

Stephen Potter, a member on the Academy’s sound branch, said he was “surprised” at the Academy’s 10-year ban, describing it as “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,” he said.

“The opinions are split between those who do and don’t support Mr. Smith’s actions, but the fact remains this incident was very unfortunate on many levels.”

Louis Chilton9 April 2022 16:53

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