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Will Smith RESIGNS from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: 'Heartbroken' actor says he'll accept the consequences as he faces possible expulsion for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

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Will Smith RESIGNS from the Academy as he faces possible expulsion for slapping Chris Rock

  • Will Smith has resigned from the Academy amid fallout surrounding his slapping of Chris Rock during last Sunday's Oscars ceremony
  • In a statement released Friday, Smith called his actions during the show 'shocking, painful and inexcusable' 
  • The actor acknowledged that slapping Rock during the ceremony caused other award winners to be overshadowed
  • He said he wanted to put the 'focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements' and allow the Academy to return to doing 'incredible work'
  • Smith also said he would accept any additional consequences issued by the Academy's Board of Governors 
  • His resignation came two days after the Academy met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violating the group's standards of conduct
    Will Smith holding Oscar (ABC)

    After slapping presenter Chris Rock on stage at last weekend’s Academy Awards, Will Smith announced in a statement Friday that he has resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences

    “I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate,” Smith said in a statement shared with CNN by his publicist.

    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.”

    Oscar Statues (Christopher Polk-Getty Images)
    Oscar statues are seen backstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre in February 2016. Ratings for the 94th Academy Awards increased 56% from last year’s show. / Christopher Polk-Getty Images

    After the embarrassing episode at Sunday night’s Oscars, The Academy announced on Wednesday that it had “initiated disciplinary proceedings” against Smith.

    A board meeting is slated to take place on April 18, at which time, “the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct,” the organization said.

    Instead, Smith has willingly left the acclaimed organization of movie stars, directors and producers.

    Will Smith cursing at Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars (Lupita Nyong'o looks on) - screenshot
    Will Smith cursing at Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars (Lupita Nyong’o looks on) – screenshot

    His statement read in full:

    “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. 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.”

    Friday’s statement was by far Smith’s most contrite take on the matter.

    He initially apologized to the Academy during his televised acceptance speech for best actor, about forty minutes after the slap. But in that speech, he did not apologize to Rock.

    Smith publicly apologized to Rock the next day via social media.But he was much more critical of himself on Friday, calling his actions “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

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Comment by John Smith on April 5, 2022 at 6:27am
Comment by Jibon on April 3, 2022 at 11:47pm
Comment by Tyrone on April 2, 2022 at 2:17am

He may have hurt his career with that slapping stunt.  But hey, we'll see.

Comment by mr1stroke on April 2, 2022 at 12:50am

Resign is one thing, now many in Hollywood may not want to work with him due to back last, it may not be the end but it will be hard for a minute.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on April 1, 2022 at 11:16pm
He deserves punishment, Samuel L Jackson, got his first Oscar award , did not see it because of that fool. Baldy cost him alot of money, self respect, and dignity.

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