Awards season comes to a close tonight with the Oscars. While last year’s winners usually take the stage to present an award, it is well known that this year there will be one notable absence: Will Smith will not be welcome at the Oscars for the next ten years after his tantrum of last year. However, Smith is not the only one who is no longer welcome. These six men were also banished:
1 Richard Gere
In 1993, during the Oscar for best set design, Gere deviated from the script he should have read and called attention to the terrible human rights situation in Tibet. Pretty Woman actor was banned for 20 years for his controversial statement. However, the ban was not enforced because in 2003 Gere was present then Chicago (2002) in which he can be seen as Billy Flynn, was named best film of the year. In 2013, when his ban ended, he also attended the ceremony and joked: “It seems if you stay long enough, they forget they banned you”.
2 Carmine Caridi
Actor Caridi, who died in 2019, was banned for life from the 2004 Oscars after illegally playing through VHS copies of that year’s contenders. He had received the video tapes as an Academy voter. It ended in a lawsuit that was won by the actor. However, the Academy maintained that Caridi had violated his agreement to keep the tapes to himself.
3 Bill Cosby
Cosby, best known for his role in the sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–1992), was banned from the Oscars shortly after his conviction for drugging and assaulting ex-basketball star Andrea Constand. After three years in prison, Cosby’s conviction was overturned. He never commented on the Academy’s decision.
Bill Cosby via Depositphotos
4 Roman Polanski
In 1978, Polanski fled the United States after pleading guilty to having sexual intercourse with a minor, and although this was made public, the Academy decided to award him an Oscar for his work as director of The Pianist (2002). When the Academy decided to ban him for life in 2018, it was of course reacted with mixed feelings.
8.5 Watch on Prime Video • The consequences of the German occupation are horrific for the inhabitants of Warsaw: the ghetto, the Jewish uprising and the deportations.
5 Adam Kimmel
Cinematographer Kimmel, known for his work on, among others Capote (2005), was expelled from the Academy in 2021 when it emerged that he had previously been placed on the sex offender register following two assaults. In both cases it was a minor. The assaults took place in 2003 and 2007. Kimmel would have joined the Academy in 2007, even though the Academy claims to screen their members for admission. It was only after the US website Variety exposed the controversy that the Academy took action to revoke Kimmel’s membership.
6 Harvey Weinstein
Weinstein and his brother Bob founded the production company Miramax in 1979. The company was partly responsible for many Oscars. In 2017, Weinstein was expelled from the Academy when allegations of sexual abuse came to light. The Academy held an emergency hearing in which the majority agreed to ban the movie magnate, even though he had not yet been charged. An analysis of Oscar speeches showed that Weinstein was thanked no less than 34 times by colleagues in 40 years, as often as God was thanked.
Harvey Weinstein via Depositphotos
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