On Sunday 10th April 2022, the film Academy decided to ban Hollywood actor Will Smith for his actions at the 94th Oscars ceremony for a whopping 10 years.
In a statement they said,
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior 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.
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.
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.
This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”
But the thing is that, this is not even the worst thing that actors have done on or off the Oscars stage. And the Academy has never taken any action against many of them till date.
At the MTV Movie Awards in June 1997 actor Jim Carrey was presented an award for The Cable Guy by Alicia Silverstone. Carrey, who was 35 at the time before taking his award forcibly kissed Silverstone who was said to be only 19/20 years old at that time.
When Carrey in a comment to CBS host Gayle King said that ”I have nothing against Will Smith – he’s done great things, but that was not a good moment,” further adding that “It cast a shadow over everyone’s shining moment last night… It was a selfish moment,” it suddenly lead to a flurry of people digging up the video of Carrey doing something selfish himself and calling out his hypocrisy in the matter.
During the 2003 Oscars event, actor Adrien Brody while getting the award for his role in the movie The Pianist grabbed actress Halle Berry and not only gave her a tight hug but also bent her backward and gave her an intense kiss. When Berry was asked about it later on in a 2017 interview with Andy Cohen she said that “I don’t know. I was too focused on ‘What the fuck is going on right now?’”
In another moment from the Oscars, during the 1973 Academy Awards, Irish American actor John Wayne had to actually be held back by security guards from attacking Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather while she was giving a speech on behalf of Marlon Brando for his Best Actor award.
News reported Piers Morgan, in a tweet said that “BREAKING: Will Smith banned by the Hollywood Academy, 12 days after he slapped Chris Rock. It took the same Academy 40 years to ban Roman Polanski after he was convicted of raping a child.”
Roman Polanski had infamously won an Oscar in 2003 for his film The Pianist, where his award was collected on his behalf since he couldn’t attend the event himself due to him being under arrest for statutory rape. It took the Academy until 2018 to actually ban him along with Bill Cosby and then later on Harvey Weinstein.
Casey Affleck was also given an Oscar even though at that time he had just been accused of sexual harassment and was under social fire for that.
The only thing different from all these was the fact that many of them did not commit all the atrocious behaviours on the Academy stage itself. So as long as you do whatever it is you want to do off the stage then it is fine if we go by this logic.
No matter how vile the action might be, but the minute even a small mishap occurs on the Academy stage then suddenly the members wake up and think ‘oh… we need to set an example that this is not allowed.’
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