Will Smith resigns from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over Chris Rock slap at Oscars | Ents & Arts News
Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying that his slapping of presenter Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Oscars ceremony was “shocking, painful and inexcusable”.
In a statement, Smith said: “I have directly responded to the academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
‘I am heartbroken’
He added: “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.
“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.
“So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the board deems appropriate.
“Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
The film academy said it had accepted Smith’s resignation and will “continue to move forward” with disciplinary proceedings against the 53-year-old actor for violations of its standards of conduct.
The matter is due to be discussed at the board’s next meeting on 18 April, which could lead to additional sanctions.
On Sunday night, Smith walked on to the stage at the Dolby Theatre and smacked Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
He returned to his seat and shouted twice: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
Rock’s joke had made a reference to the 1997 film GI Jane in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
It was unclear whether Rock was aware that Pinkett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss.
Moments after hitting Rock, Smith gave a tearful speech on stage as he accepted the best actor award for his role in King Richard.
After the ceremony, he attended the Vanity Fair after-party, posing on the red carpet with his wife and three children – Trey, Jaden and Willow.
Rock, 57, declined to file charges when asked by police.
However, the Los Angeles Police Department said that “if the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report”.