The 95th Academy Awards are due to take place on Sunday, capping out the awards season, but did you know that many A-listers are still barred from attending? Richard Gere received a 20-year ban in 1993 for breaking from the script and criticizing the Chinese government’s annexation of Tibet while presenting an award. Read More…
Richard Gere’s Ban From Oscar
30 years ago, Richard Gere landed himself in hot water at the Oscars. While presenting the award for best art direction, instead of following the script that made a light-hearted comparison between artists and art directors, Gere used his platform to condemn the dire human rights situation in Tibet.
Richard Gere went ahead and called out Deng Xiaoping, the late head of the Chinese Communist Party, and urged the audience to send him “love and truth and a kind of sanity” in the hope that Tibet may reclaim its freedom.
With the knowledge of what a horrendous, horrendous human rights situation there is in China, [and Tibet] I wonder if we could all send love and truth and sanity to Deng Xiaoping right now in Beijing if maybe he will take his troops, take them away from Tibet and allow these people to live as free, independent people again.Richard Gere
The actor from “Pretty Woman” was said to have received a 20-year ban due to his controversial speech. However, this ban on Richard Gere does not appear to have been enforced since he attended the ceremony in 2003 when the musical “Chicago” was nominated and won the Best Picture award. Additionally, he was invited back as a presenter in 2013.
In 2013, when Richard Gere spoke to the Huffington Post, he joked about the situation by saying, “It seems I’ve been rehabilitated. If you stick around long enough, they forget they’ve banned you.“
Some Other A-Listers Who Have Been Banned:
Actor from “The Godfather” trilogy was banned for life in 2004 for distributing Oscar contender VHS copies illegally. He loaned his tapes to a movie pirate, and the Academy found them online. FBI investigated and Caridi faced a copyright infringement lawsuit.
He was cleared of all charges, but the Academy refused to lift his ban, citing the violation of their screener protection agreement.
Will Smith nearly spoiled last year’s Oscars ceremony when he slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The incident was not televised in the United States, but it was shown throughout the world and became one of the most stunning moments in Oscar history.
Smith apologized emotionally for his portrayal in “King Richard” during his victory speech, but AMPAS chose to bar him from all Academy functions for ten years. The Academy said in a statement that the 94th Academy Awards were designed to honor the many great people in the film industry, but Smith’s actions overshadowed the occasion.
Harvey Weinstein, who co-founded Miramax and produced multiple Oscar-winning films, was removed from AMPAS in 2017 after charges against him surfaced. In reaction to the #MeToo movement, the academy called an emergency session and voted to dismiss him despite the fact that he had not been prosecuted.
He was convicted of rape and sexual assault three years later and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He was sentenced to an extra 16 years in 2022.
In 2018, one month after Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault, the Academy imposed a permanent ban on him.
The Academy has released an official statement in which they state their commitment to upholding ethical standards among their members. The Board emphasizes the importance of adhering to the Academy’s core values of showing respect for human dignity.
The Academy has declared that Roman Polanski is banned from their events due to historical allegations of sexual assault.
Polanski, a filmmaker who has been living in exile in Europe since 1978, when he fled the United States after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, was recognized as the best director for his movie “The Pianist” in 2003. This recognition came even though his allegations of abuse were widely known at the time.