Oscars: All the stars who have been expelled from the Academy

The list includes Carmine Caridi, Harvey Weinstein, and Roman Polanski among others

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 02 April 2022 10:54
Moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars

At the 2022 Oscars ceremony, a slap was heard around the world.

Will Smith walked onto the stage and struck Chris Rock, after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

Smith then yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” while Rock, looking flustered, told the shocked audience: “Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me.”

Smith – who won the Best Actor Oscar just minutes later for his performance in King Richard – is now facing the prospect of disciplinary action from the Academy.

On Wednesday night (30 March), the Academy’s board of governors – which includes Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Spielberg and Laura Dern – held an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.

Many had been left wondering what punitive action, if any, the Academy will take against the actor, a longtime voting member. No actor has ever been stripped of their Oscar before, but several stars have had their Academy membership revoked.

The moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars

In his tearful acceptance speech, Smith had apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, saying: “I hope the Academy invites me back,” but, on Friday (1 April), Smith announced his resignation from the organisation. Find exactly what that means for Smith’s future at the Oscars here.

Only three people, including Smith, have ever resigned as members. The other two – sound engineer Tom Fleischman and production sound mixer Peter Kurland – occurred in March 2022 after it was announced that the technical awards would be announced before the ceremony had officially begun.

Here are the five people who have been expelled from the Academy (aka had their membership revoked) in its 94-year history...

Carmine Caridi

Carmine Caridi as Albert Volpe in ‘The Godfather Part III’

The Godfather Part II star Caridi was the first person ever kicked out of the Academy. In 2004, he was expelled for producing VCR copies of preview screeners and sharing them around. The FBI investigated the actor after copies of Something’s Gotta Give, The Last Samurai, Mystic River, Big Fish and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were said to have been traced back to Caridi.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

Federal authorities alleged that for at least three years, Caridi had given a man called Russell Sprague his screener copies of as many as 60 movies. Caridi gave Sprague’s name to the FBI in exchange for immunity and was sued by Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros.

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

Hollywood mogul Weinstein was expelled in 2017, just one month after the explosive New York Times report that brought to light allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The board said its decision was “not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues” but also “to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over”.

Weinstein’s brother Bob had urged the Academy to expel him, calling the producer “sick and depraved”, adding: “I am gonna write a note to them saying he definitely should be kicked out of the Academy.”

Weinstein has denied all allegations of wrongdoing but is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his crimes.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

The Cosby Show actor – known at one point as “America’s Dad” for his paternal role in the series – was expelled in 2018, one month after he was found guilty of sexual assault. He had been on trial for drugging and assaulting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand in 2004.

He was sentenced to up to 10 years but has since been released from prison, and had his 2018 sexual assault conviction overturned. He has long denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Director Polanski was expelled at the same time as Cosby, despite pleading guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor all the way back in 1977 in the US and fled to France. The #MeToo movement that came after Weinstein’s crimes were exposed put pressure on the Academy to act against Polanski.

In retaliation, Polanski filed a lawsuit against the Academy, which he lost. In a statement, the Academy said its board “has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct”.

It added: “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

Adam Kimmel

Adam Kimmel

Cinematographer Kimmel, who worked on films such as Capote and Lars and the Real Girl, was expelled in 2021, after reports emerged of his history as a registered sex offender.

Kimmel was arrested in 2003 and 2010 and charged both times for sexual crimes against underage girls. After the first arrest, Kimmel pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. After the second, he was convicted of a class D felony for failing to register as a sex offender.

Follow live updates on the Will Smith Oscars scandal here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in