Will Smith Resigns From Academy After Oscars Slap: ‘I Am Heartbroken’

Will Smith
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On Friday, amid the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ ongoing inquiry into Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars, Smith announced that he is officially resigning from the Academy.

“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” Smith begins the statement. “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.

He continues, “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.”

With this resignation, Smith — who won his first Oscar for Best Actor in King Richard on Sunday — can no longer vote in future Academy Awards. That said, he can still be nominated and attend ceremonies, and he will (at the present time) keep his award.

In response to Smith’s resignation, David Rubin, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, released the following statement:

“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 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.”

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

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The “formal review” of Sunday’s incident at the 94th Academy Awards could take weeks, representatives say, and time will tell if further action will take place.

Smith’s resignation comes after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Board of Governors had given him 15 days from March 30 for a response following their meeting about his behavior at the Oscars on March 27. The Board would have made a decision, which could have involved expulsion or a suspension, on April 18.

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He also told 'Good Morning America' how close Smith was to being arrested.

During the broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards, Rock started with a few jokes, which had been ad-libs. That included a remark about Pinkett Smith and G.I. Jane 2 (her shaved head is because she has alopecia). Smith then walked up to the stage and slapped Rock. “Keep my wife’s name outta your f**king mouth!” Smith yelled at him after from his seat.

Smith issued an apology on Instagram on March 28, writing in part, “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. I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”

Stay tuned as this story is developing.