Will Smith resigns from the Academy
Actor Will Smith on Friday announced he will resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he hit comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars.
His resignation comes two days after the Academy began disciplinary proceedings against the actor, saying he refused to leave the venue after he was asked following the incident.
Smith slapped Rock during the event after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s alopecia.
“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.
He went on to say he is still “heartbroken” about the incident and 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.”
“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,” Smith wrote.
Actions the Academy was considering taking before Smith’s resignation included suspension, expulsion or other sanctions in the organization’s bylaws.
“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,” the Academy said in a statement Friday.
Rock declined to press charges against Smith.
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