Will Smith resigns from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, citing his “shocking, painful and inexcusable” slapping of presenter Chris Rock on stage at this year’s Oscars ceremony.
“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.” In the statement, Smith said, “I am heartbroken.”
“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.”
Will Smith is the fifth African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Last week’s Oscars left the crowd speechless when Smith marched on to the stage and slapped Rock across the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s close-cropped hairdo.
After returning to his seat, the actor yelled obscenities at the stunned comic.
In clarity, Will’s action followed when Chris Rock made a reference to the 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head, it was unclear if Rock was aware that Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a disorder that causes hair loss.
Will Smith was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the sports biopic King Richard half an hour after the shocking incident, and he gave a sorrowful acceptance speech.
In recent days, there have been different stories about whether Smith was asked to leave the event, with the Academy claiming that he refused.
Despite announcing his resignation from the film academy, Will Smith may face disciplinary action for slapping comic Chris Rock on the stage.
The Academy accepted Smith’s resignation, but disciplinary processes will continue, according to David Rubin, president of the film academy. On April 18, the issue will be discussed at the group’s next board meeting.
In case you missed it, below is a video of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage: