Many members of the Academy have begun to express conflicting emotions in response to Will Smith’s 10-year exile from the Academy Awards. Some people believe that the Academy has been too harsh in its decision, while others believe that it has been too lenient.
According to TMZ, there have only been a handful of responses from individuals, none of which have come from the Board of Governors. Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision made by the Academy this week in public forums. A significant number of people have taken Will’s side and stated that the punishment is excessive. Some well-known individuals, including Stephen Potter, Harry Shearer, and Beverly Walker, expressed their displeasure with this decision.
If Will Smith or any other A-list actor had run on stage and simply pulled down his pants and defecated, I seriously doubt he or she would be back on that stage in ten years, let alone ever… ” It seems oddly parental to impose a decade-long prohibition, as if the child will have outgrown his slappin’ phase by then.”
Beverly had also come out in support of Will. Specifically, she takes issue with “the Academy’s longstanding habit of hiring comedian/hosts to march out and insult or make fun of the very people who are being celebrated,” and she goes on to say that “there have undoubtedly been some who would’ve liked to make some sort of protest, but what Rock said was egregious and he had to have known it would not be appreciated.
The board of governors should have looked into why David Rubin and/or Dawn Hudson did not immediately remove Will Smith from the theater after he physically attacked one of the hosts, Mitchell Block said, adding that “their poor judgment demonstrated an inability to lead and be proactive under pressure and respond to this behavior.” That the governors did not punish them leaves me feeling really unhappy.
The actor Steven Scott expressed his disappointment at the situation, saying, “I am equally upset that Chris Rock and the Academy opted not to seek charges against Will for his attack.” How are we sending the message that when we are assaulted, it is best to just maintain our “comfort” and refrain from complaining?”. “Before someone tells me that other Hollywood A-listers have done terrible things and still managed to keep their Oscars, I’d like to point out that none of them committed their crimes live, on air, from the Academy’s home stage on our special night, in front of the entire world.”
“There is no precedent for Will’s heinous physical and verbal assault, and the punishment should have been unprecedented as well,” Scott went on to state. This appallingly weak, amoral, and kowtowing-to-an-A-lister attitude from my Academy has left me horrified.
Will hasn’t expressed any displeasure with the Academy’s decision. However, despite the fact that he is barred from attending the Academy Awards ceremonies, he can still be nominated for an Academy Award. Even if he wins one, he will be able to keep it.