Richard Gere, Will Smith And The Full List Of Famous Names Banned From The Oscars

The full list of celebrities banned from the Oscars includes Richard Gere, Will Smith, and more.
Credit: Alamy

The Hollywood celebrities and public figures who have been banned from the Oscars have been revealed. 

Last night saw the 96th Academy Awards ceremony broadcast to the world.

We saw Cillian Murphy and Emma Stone scoop the prestigious Best Actor and Best Actress awards, while Oppenheimer was awarded Best Picture.

But some figures of the screen were noticeably not in attendance.

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In fact, there have been numerous big names banned from the Oscars over the years, so let’s take a look:

1. Carmine Caridi

Carmine Caridi
Carmine Caridi remained banned from the Oscars even after charges against him were cleared. Credit: Alamy

In 2004, actor Carmine Caridi was the first person to be permanently banned from the Oscars after being accused of illegally circulating screener videotapes of future movies to his friend Russell Sprague.

The Godfather star was involved in an infringement lawsuit with Sony and Warner Bros, with the FBI even becoming involved.

Sprague, who died of a heart during his legal proceedings against him, pled guilty to his involvement with the crimes, while Caridi was eventually cleared of his involvement.

However, even after being cleared of the charges against him, the Academy upheld their decision to ban Caridi for life.

He died in 2019 aged 85.

2. Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski’s films have been honoured by the Academy. Credit: Alamy

Controversial French-Polish director Roman Polanski is another star with a lifetime Oscars ban.

Polanski’s lifetime ban came in in 2018 after he was convicted of unlawful s**ual intercourse with a minor.

Polanski pled guilty to the charges in the ’70s but fled to France – where he still lives – to evade justice.

He continues to make films, some of which have received Oscar recognition – but none since his 2018 ban.

3. Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein is banned from the Oscars for life. Credit: Alamy

Disgraced former director Harvey Weinstein also has a lifetime ban from the Oscars, which came into place in 2017.

He was accused of s** crimes dating back decades.

Weinstein was convicted of r*** and s**ual assault and set to 23 years behind bars in 2020. 16 years was added for further s** crimes, meaning he will very likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The Academy called Weinstein’s crimes ‘repugnant, abhorrent and anti-ethical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents’, as per the Mirror.

4. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby’s s** crimes led to him being banned from the Oscars. Credit: Alamy

Bill Cosby’s fall from public grace came in 2018 when he was accused of s**ual assault.

The actor, formerly known as ‘America’s dad’, served three years in prison for his crimes before the verdict was overturned by the Pennsylvanian Supreme Court.

There are still numerous civil lawsuits ongoing against the star.

The Academy says of Cosby’s ban, per Rolling Stone: “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

5. Adam Kimmel

Adam Kimmel
Adam Kimmel is one of the most recent figures to have been banned from the Oscars. Credit: Alamy

Cinematographer Adam Kimmel, who worked on films like Capote, Beautiful Girls and Never Let Me Go, was expelled from the Academy in 2021.

The 64-year-old is a registered s** offender who pled guilty to statutory r*** of a 15-year-old girl when he was 43.

Kimmel has admitted the incident took place but claims it was consensual.

6. Will Smith

One of the more famous Oscar bannings has to be Will Smith.

In 2022, Smith slapped the show’s host Chris Rock live on air in one of the most memorable Oscar’s moments of all time.

Many thought the moment was scripted at the time, but it later transpired that this wasn’t the case.

Oddly, Smith was allowed to stay in the audience and even went on to win the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard.

However, following the ceremony, the Academy slapped (no pun intended) Smith with a ten-year ban.

The Acadamy stated that the awards had been ‘overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behaviour we saw Mr Smith exhibit on stage’, as per the BBC.

Will Smith at Oscars
Will Smith was banned for the infamous ‘slap’. Credit: Alamy

7. Richard Gere

One of the more surprising additions to the list is Pretty Woman star Richard Gere.

Gere received a 20-year ban in 1993 after making some controversial comments while presenting the Oscar for Best Art Direction category.

He took the opportunity to draw attention to the Chinese conflict with Tibet, saying: “I wonder every day if we could send love, truth and sanity to [former Communist leader] Deng Xiaoping. Right now in Beijing, if maybe he will take his troops, get them out of Tibet and allow these people to go back to living as free, independent people.”

However, it appears the ban was briefly lifted in 2003, as Gere was allowed to attend after starring in Chicago.

He joked to the Huffington Post that he had been ‘rehabilitated’, adding: “It seems if you stay around long enough, they forget they’ve banned you.”

Richard Gere
Richard Gere jokingly said he’s been ‘rehabilitated’. Credit: Alamy

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.