Ricky Gervais has responded to the Academy’s 10-year ban on Will Smith’s attendance at future Oscars ceremonies.
The Academy convened today (8 April) to decide on the consequences Smith would face for slapping Rock on stage at last month’s ceremony, after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Shortly after the decision was made public, Gervais reshared news of Smith’s punishment on Twitter with the caption: “Hopefully, he’ll only do 6 years with good behaviour.”
Gervais has been a reasonably prominent voice among celebrities in the aftermath of the Smith-Rock incident.
He had previously commented on the events in defense of Chris Rock, labeling his joke “tame”.
“You don’t hit someone over a joke, however bad it is – and it wasn’t bad!” he wrote on Twitter. “That was like the tamest joke I would’ve ever told.”
In an open letter released after the meeting, Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson wrote that this year’s Oscars “were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr Smith exhibit on stage.”
It continued: “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.”
Read Smith’s full response to the ban here. Follow along for live updates here.