- In 2022, Will Smith received a 10-year ban from the Academy Awards for slapping Chris Rock on stage.
- The actor is not the first to be banned, though most bans have only happened in the last few years.
- Insider rounded up everyone who has been expelled or disciplined by the body behind the awards.
Awards season is coming to a head this weekend, with the 95th Academy Awards taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
However, as audiences will no doubt already know, there will be one notable absence this year as Will Smith received a 10-year ban following his “unacceptable and harmful” behavior on stage last year when he slapped host Chris Rock.
Smith isn’t the only one who is actually barred from attending Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events such as the Oscars, as before his headline-making outburst, six other men also received bans.
Here is a comprehensive list of everyone who has been expelled or received a ban from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 1993, Richard Gere received a 20-year ban for going off script and speaking about the Chinese government’s occupation of Tibet while presenting an award.
Gere found himself in the Oscars doghouse 30 years ago when he decided to use his position as a presenter for that year’s best art direction award to criticize the “horrendous, horrendous human rights situation” in Tibet, completely ignoring the script on the teleprompter he was supposed to read that jokingly compared artists such as Michelangelo and Monet to art directors.
Gere even called out the late leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping, telling audiences to “send love and truth and a kind of sanity” to the chairman so that he might “take the Chinese away from Tibet and allow people to live as free independent people again.”
The “Pretty Woman” actor was reportedly handed a 20-year ban for his controversial speech, but it seems this wasn’t enforced as he attended in 2003 when the musical “Chicago” was nominated for and won best picture, and in 2013 when he was again invited back as a presenter.
Gere made light of the situation while speaking to Huffington Post in 2013. “Apparently, I’ve been rehabilitated,” he said. “It seems if you stay around long enough, they forget they’ve banned you.”
Carmine Caridi received a lifetime ban in 2004 for illegally circulating VHS copies of the nominees, including “Something’s Gotta Give” and “The Last Samurai.”
The late actor, who is best known for small parts in the last two films in “The Godfather” trilogy, was handed a lifetime ban in 2004 for illegally circulating VHS copies of that year’s contenders that he had been sent as an Academy voter.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Caridi opened up about the situation, admitting that he got busted because he made the mistake of lending out his tapes — something he claims “everyone” did — to a man who was a notorious movie pirate at the time.
“A guy from the Academy called and says, ‘Carmine, did somebody steal your screeners? Because they found them on the internet,'” Caridi recalled. “Then I called Sprague and said, ‘Hey! What did you do? I’m in trouble here.'”
While the case was investigated by the FBI and Caridi was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by Sony and Warner Bros., he was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing. The Academy wasn’t so forgiving and maintained that Caridi had violated his agreement to safeguard their screeners.
A month after Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault in 2018, the Academy issued a permanent ban against him.
Shortly after Bill Cosby, who was once regarded as “America’s Dad” for his role in the sitcom “The Cosby Show,” was convicted of drugging and assaulting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand in 2018, the Academy announced their decision to ban him in accordance with its newly reviewed standards of conduct.
In an official statement, the Academy explained: “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Cosby — who served three years in prison before having his conviction overturned — never publicly reacted to the Academy’s decision. The 85-year-old comedian is now facing more charges after five women filed another sexual assault lawsuit against him in December 2022.
At the same time as Cosby’s expulsion, the Academy announced that they were also banning Roman Polanski for historical sexual assault allegations.
Roman Polanski received a long overdue lifetime ban in 2018 in what many have regarded as a knee-jerk reaction to the #MeToo movement.
The filmmaker, who has been living in exile in Europe since he fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, was recognized as best director for “The Pianist” in 2003, even though his abuse allegations were widely known at the time.
Adam Kimmel was convicted of rape before joining the Academy in 2007. It wasn’t until 2021 that they expelled him.
Adam Kimmel, who is a cinematographer known for his work on “Lars and the Real Girl” and “Capote,” was expelled from the Academy in 2021 when it emerged that he had previously been arrested on charges of assaulting two minors and added to the sex offenders register.
The crimes took place in 2003 and 2010, according to Variety, but Kimmel only joined AMPAS as a member of the cinematography branch in 2007, meaning that the Academy failed to vet him before allowing him to join their ranks.
It was an exposé from Variety that prompted the organization to take action and remove him. They wrote in a statement at the time that the membership selection process is “based on an honor system that relies on the integrity of prospective members, their sponsors, and branch committee members to disclose any disqualifying information” and that going forward it will “continue to examine its member selection process regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects Academy values.”
Harvey Weinstein, who was once a prominent figure at the Academy Awards, was expelled when multiple sexual harassment and rape allegations emerged against him.
Weinstein, who founded the production company Miramax with his brother Bob and had a hand in bringing many Oscar-winning films to life, was expelled from AMPAS shortly after allegations against him came to light in 2017.
In response to the #MeToo movement, the Academy held an emergency session, where the majority voted to have the disgraced movie mogul removed, even though he hadn’t yet been charged.
It would be another three years before he was convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act and jailed for 23 years. His sentence was brought up to 39 years when he was sentenced to 16 additional years in 2022 in a separate trial.
An analysis of Academy Award acceptance speeches from 1966 to 2016 found that Weinstein has been thanked or mentioned in 34 winners’ speeches — as many times as God.
In 2022, Will Smith became the first star to be banned for his onstage actions, which the Academy called “unacceptable and harmful.”
Last year’s ceremony was almost derailed when Will Smith walked on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock across the face for poking fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head with a “G.I. Jane” joke.
The moment was cut or muted during the US Oscars broadcast, but aired in full in other parts of the world and quickly cemented itself as one of the most shocking moments in Academy Awards history.
Smith issued a tearful apology during his acceptance speech for best actor award for his performance in “King Richard,” saying “love will make you do crazy things,”
However, AMPAS made the decision just a few weeks later to ban the actor from all Academy events for 10 years.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year,” the Academy said in a statement. “However, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.”
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