- Will Smith called his actions at the 94th Academy Awards “shocking, painful and inexcusable”
- He said he will accept any additional consequences that the Academy’s Board of Governors deems appropriate
- Smith’s resignation means he can no longer vote for the Oscars, but he can still be nominated and attend future ceremonies
Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Academy Awards.
Following the intense backlash to his assault on the comedian during last Sunday’s Oscars telecast, the “King Richard” actor released a statement Friday announcing his resignation from the Academy.
In the statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Smith called his actions “shocking, painful and inexcusable” and said that he will accept any additional consequences that the Academy’s Board of Governors deems appropriate.
“The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,” Smith wrote.
He continued, “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. 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.”
Smith’s statement concluded: “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” according to People.
The Academy immediately responded to the “Gemini Man” star’s resignation.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” the organization said in a statement obtained by THR. “We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”
The Academy previously announced that it has launched a formal review into Smith’s attack on Rock and plans to “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
On Wednesday, the Academy released another statement apologizing to Rock, the Oscar nominees, guests and viewers for the incident. The organization also claimed that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after the slap, but the actor refused.
Smith’s resignation means he can no longer vote for the Oscars. However, the “Aladdin” star can still be nominated for future Academy Awards, attend future ceremonies and keep the statue he took home last weekend after winning best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, in the biopic “King Richard.”
Smith stormed the stage at the 2022 Oscars and smacked Rock across the face after the comedian joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The actress has previously disclosed that she lives with alopecia, a condition that causes her to lose her hair.
Smith has since apologized to Rock, writing in part in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Meanwhile, Rock has resumed his comedy tour. He briefly addressed the altercation during one of his stand-up shows, saying he was “still processing what happened.” He also promised to speak further on the incident in the future.
Rock didn’t press charges against Smith and even shut down an audience member who shouted “F–k Will Smith” during his show in Boston Thursday.
However, the comedian suggested that Smith hasn’t reached out to him since the incident, telling the crowd at his Wednesday show: “I haven’t talked to anyone despite what you may have heard.”
Will Smith resigned form the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over his assault of Chris Rock Photo: AFP / Patrick T. FALLON
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