The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stated that Will Smith will not be allowed to attend the Academy Awards and other associated events for a period of ten years as a result of his onstage incident with Chris Rock.
Smith’s actions were “inappropriate and detrimental”, but the academy’s actions itself, however, have ignited a debate online, with some defending the academy’s actions as appropriate and others criticizing them as “excessive and hypocritical”.
Many people believe that Smith was subjected to a double standard, and they point to the Academy’s history of rewarding celebrities who have had been charged with different serious accusations, like Kevin Spacey, Woody Alle, Mel Gibson and so on.
It was noted that the Academy acted quickly in preventing Smith from the awards show because of the incident, contrasting this with the time it took the organization to expel others if they even ever did it.
Though, media specialist feels that the inconsistency between the Academy’s disciplinary procedures against Smith and others may be attributed to the fact that Smith’s case was shown on television.
“The most serious problem for the academy is that it was caught on tape… That, more than anything else, is the motivating cause for the 10-year prohibition.”
Smith resigned from the Academy and expressed regret to Rock, calling his actions “inappropriate and reprehensible”, but despite the attendance limit, Smith will still be eligible to be nominated for and win Academy Awards.
It would be a mistake to “expect any form of morality by the academia or even by the community” from the incident in question, though, stated the specialist.
She also added that it would be great to see a more thoughtful conversation asking “more crucial questions about comedy towards individuals in public behavior that lead to us being kinder towards one another.”