Actor Will Smith announced he was resigning from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday after slapping comedian Chris Rock at Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards.
Smith said he would “fully accept any and all consequences” for his conduct in a statement put out by his representative, adding that his actions were “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
“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,” the statement read, according to CNN.
He continued, saying he wants 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.”
UPDATE: “We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” said AMPAS president David Rubin on Friday https://t.co/KyCTMoACdz
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) April 1, 2022
“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 statement concluded. (RELATED: ‘That’s How We Do It’: Will Smith’s Son Responds To Dad’s Slap At Oscars)
Smith walked up on stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s hair follicles, in 2018.
The Academy put out a statement saying it was initiating “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, according to People magazine.
The Academy also apologized to Rock, thanking him for his “resilience in the moment.” “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event,” the statement concluded.
Smith could face “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions” when the Academy board meets April 18 to determine disciplinary proceedings.
Academy president David Rubin told Deadline Hollywood it “received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”