Tony Awards Issues Strict No Violence Policy, Says Violators ‘Will Be Removed’

Posted 2022/04/20 5 0

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After what happened at the Academy Awards in March, the Tony Awards producers are not taking any chances. To make it very clear to everyone planning on attending the ceremony, which recognizes excellence in Broadway theatre, Tony Award Productions said in a letter to potential ticket-buyers that includes a warning not to engage in violence of any kind. Per Deadline, you can read the actual warning message below.

“The Tony Awards has a strict no violence policy. In the event of an incident, the perpetrator will be removed from the event immediately.”

It’s obvious that this refers to the incident at the Oscars involving Will Smith and Chris Rock. During that night’s ceremony, Rock had told a joke on stage about Jada Pinkett Smith by suggesting that she’d be starring in a G.I. Jane sequel, a reference to her short-cut hairstyle. Will Smith approached Rock and slapped him on the head before returning to his seat and shouting obscenities at the comedian. Smith was not removed after the altercation and went on to win Best Lead Actor for King Richard, delivering an acceptance speech through tears.

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The Academy had come under fire for the lack of action about Smith’s behavior. While Rock declined to file criminal charges, many felt that Smith should have, at the very least, been removed from the ceremony. The Academy had since launched a review of the incident and announced that Smith is banned from attending the Oscars or any other Academy-related events for the next ten years. Smith has said that he accepts the Academy’s decision.

Will Smith Issued a Public Apology to Chris Rock

Before his suspension, Will Smith had issued a public apology to Chris Rock. While Smith says he was reacting emotionally because the joke was about his wife, the King Richard star admits that he should not have resorted to violence. He also said he felt “heartbroken” that his behavior had taken the attention away from all of the other nominees and winners that night, and announced that he was resigning from the Academy. The 10-year ban just ensured that he can’t change his mind for a decade.

“I betrayed the trust of the Academy,” Smith said in a statement. “I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”

He added, “So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

The Tony Awards are scheduled to be presented on Sunday, June 12, at Radio City Music Hall. It will air live while also streaming on Paramount+.


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