Will Smith announced Friday that he has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and admitted he’s “heartbroken” about having to do so following “disciplinary proceedings” by the Oscars over him slapping Chris Rock.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the 53-year-old actor shared in a statement, reported Deadline.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he added. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris [Rock], 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,” Smith continued. “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.”
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 1, 2022
The “Men In Black” star closed out his statement admitting that “change takes time,” and that he’s “committed to doing the work to ensure” that he never again allows “violence to overtake reason.”
As reported by The Daily Wire:
“The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy,” a statement from the The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences read, reported the Hollywood Reporter in a piece published Wednesday.
“Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response,” the statement added. “At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment,” the statement continued. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
As The Daily Wire reported:
During a segment at the Oscars, the 57-year-old comedian [Chris Rock] remarked about how no one was wearing a mask in the theater before he turned his attention to Denzel Washington and praised him for his part in the movie “The Tragedy of MacBeth.” The superstar comedian then spotted Will Smith’s wife in the audience and cracked a joke about how Jada was going to be in the next “G.I. Jane” movie.
“Jada, I love ya,” Rock said. “G.I. Jane 2 movie, can’t wait to see it.”
Smith then got up from his seat and struck Rock in the face.
“Oh wow, wow. Will Smith just smacked the s*** outta me,” Rock said.
Smith then repeatedly shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”
“Wow, dude,” Rock replied. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith later took the stage for his first Oscar ever for Best Actor for his role in the film “King Richard,” and during his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy and to the other nominees, but didn’t appear to apologize to Rock. Late Monday, the actor apologized to the comedian in a lengthy post on Instagram where he admitted that his actions were “out of line” and “wrong.”
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