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Ricky Gervais Responds to Will Smith's Ten Year Oscar Ban

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Ricky Gervais Responds to Will Smith's Ten Year Oscar Ban
Ricky Gervais Responds to Will Smith's Ten Year Oscar Ban (Alamy)

Ricky Gervais has spoken out following the Academy's decision to ban Will Smith from attending the Oscars for 10 years.

While Smith will still be able to be nominated and even win awards such as the Best Actors Oscar he took home this year for his role in King Richard, the 53-year-old has been prohibited from attending the ceremonies for the next 10 years.

Smith took to the stage not only to accept his award, but earlier in the ceremony he walked onstage to slap comedian Chris Rock after he made a GI Jane 2 joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair.

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British comedian and After Life star Ricky Gervais – who has previously commented on the incident – has since responded to the ban.

Ricky Gervais responds to the Academy's 10 year ban on Will Smith. Credit: Alamy
Ricky Gervais responds to the Academy's 10 year ban on Will Smith. Credit: Alamy

Announcing its resolution to ban Smith from attending the Oscars ceremonies for the next 10 years in an open letter, the Academy called Smith's behaviour 'unacceptable and harmful'.

Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson wrote: "This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behaviour 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.”

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Taking to Twitter, Gervais responded to the news by stating: "Hopefully, he'll only do six years with good behaviour."

Gervais has previously joked about the infamous slap, condemning Smith by reflecting: "You don't hit people over a joke, however bad it is. And it wasn't that bad!"

"That was like the tamest joke I would ever have told," he added.

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Noting how Rock's line has been called out by some as 'joking about [Pinkett Smith's] disability,' Gervais quipped that he should receive disability support himself.

He said: "Well I’m going a bit thin, so I’m disabled. That means I can park right up next to Tescos now.

"And I’m fat. That’s a disease, isn’t it? I'm fat and balding. I should get f***ing benefits."

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The comedian explained that if he'd been a host at the 94th Academy Awards this year, he wouldn't have made a joke about Pinkett Smith's lack of hair, but her 'entanglement' with August Alsina.

While Smith now faces a 10-year ban from attending the Oscars ceremonies, the Academy's decision has faced backlash; people have called out other celebrities, such as Harvey Weinstein, who weren't reprimanded in as harsh a way.

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Poppy Bilderbeck

Poppy Bilderbeck is a Junior Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2021 with a First in English Literature and Drama, where alongside her studies she was Editor-in-Chief of The Tab Manchester. She currently runs the mental health column for UNILAD, and is such a crisp fanatic that the office has now been forced to release them in batches.

Topics: Film & TV, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Oscars, Ricky Gervais, Will Smith, Celebrity, Film and TV