Will Smith resigns from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over Chris Rock slap at Oscars

Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and says his slap on Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Oscar ceremony was “shocking, painful and unforgivable”.

In a statement, Smith said: “I have responded directly to the Academy’s notice of disciplinary hearing and I will accept all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Oscars the presentation was shocking, painful and unforgivable. “

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The moment Smith hit Rock at the Oscars

‘I’m devastated’

He added: “The list of those I have injured is long and includes Chrishis family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all present and global audience at home.

“I betray the Academy’s trust. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be praised for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.

“I want to put back the focus on those who deserve attention for their achievements and let the Academy get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.

“I’m resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and will accept any further consequences that the Board deems appropriate.

“Change takes time and I am determined to do the job to ensure that I never again let violence make sense.”

The academy said they had accepted Smith’s “immediate resignation” and will “continue to proceed” with their disciplinary proceedings against him.

Read more: Rock “saved the Oscars” after slapgate, says the ceremony producer

Will Smith cries when he receives an Oscar for best male lead in "King Richard" at the 94th Oscars in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, March 27, 2022. REUTERS / Brian Snyder
Smith won an Oscar for Best Actor in King Richard

Smith’s resignation came two days after the Academy met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the actor for violating the group’s standards of conduct.

On Sunday night, Smith took to the stage at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and slammed Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Read more: Alopecia charity offers alternative Will Smith speeches

Moments later, he won the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard.

Rock, who was about to hand out an Oscar for best documentary, refused to bring charges at the request of the police.

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