Will Smith has resigned from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences following the backlash after slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage during last Sunday's ceremony. Two days after the Academy's Board of Governors initiated “disciplinary proceedings” against Will Smith, the actor attempted to leave the organization voluntarily.
Will Smith resigns from The Academy following the backlash after slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022
In the wake of stunning altercation onstage at the Oscars, the “heartbroken” King Richard star said he would accept all consequences for his conduct during Sunday’s ceremony. “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,” Smith said in a statement as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “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 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.” Smith also acknowledged that his actions overshadowed other winners at the 94th Academy Awards. “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,” he stated, concluding with “change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Earlier this week, the Academy began disciplinary proceedings against Smith and issued a statement saying Smith was asked to leave the show following the slap but that he refused. The statement also acknowledged that the Academy “could have handled the situation differently.” Smith’s exit from the Academy means he can no longer vote for the Oscars but he can still be nominated for Academy Awards, attend future ceremonies and keep the statue he won.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Academy president David Rubin said in a statement. “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 says its disciplinary proceedings will continue, meaning there is still a possibility that he could be stripped of the Oscar he won on Sunday (which is unlikely) or he could be denied future appearance at Academy Awards ceremonies.
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