The Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts announced their decision to ban Will Smith from all its events (including the annual Oscars ceremony), on Friday night. Since then, Will has responded to the ban, accepting the Academy's decision. His fans, however, believe it to be too harsh.
Many took to Twitter to voice their disappointment. A few even called it racist, citing examples of how other, white actors, have still not been pulled up by the Academy for their inappropriate behaviour.
"I really feel like people have been waiting to catch Will Smith slipping for YEARS and now is their chance to crush him. A decade-long ban is nuts," wrote a fan. "The ten-year ban they gave Will Smith feels very 'make a lesson of this Black person'," commented another.
Another felt the ban was too long and too severe. "Sexual harassers and creeps from all over Hollywood will be awarded for their behaviour but one slap gets Will Smith a decade-long ban. He isn't in the right but it's telling that *this* is the action that received a big punishment."
Another wrote, "I'm sorry but this is racism at its finest. The Oscars didn't ban John Wayne after he tried to attack Sacheen Littlefeather, they haven't banned a single f**king paedophile or sex offender but they're quick to ban Will Smith."
"The Board of Governors has decided, for a period of 10 years, from 8 April, 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," the Academy announced on Friday, through an official statement.
Will, 53, will keep the Oscar he won this year for his role in King Richard.