Will Smith resigns from Oscars Academy over Chris Rock slap as he’s heartbroken: ‘My actions were painful, inexcusable’

Actor Will Smith resigned from the film academy on Friday after his Oscar night bang by Chris Rock and said he would accept any additional punishment the organization imposed. Will said in a statement released on Friday afternoon that he “will fully accept all the consequences of my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards were shocking, painful and unforgivable.” (Also read | Chris Rock shuts down a fan who beat Will Smith during his live performance: ‘No no!’)

“I betray the Academy’s confidence. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be praised for their extraordinary work. I am overwhelmed. I want to put back focus on those who deserve attention for their achievements and let the Academy return to the incredible work it do to support creativity and artistry in film “, was his statement.

“Change takes time and I am determined to do the job to ensure that I never again let violence take over reason,” Will concluded.

Film Academy President David Rubin said Will’s resignation was accepted. “We will continue to pursue our disciplinary proceedings against Mr Smith for breach of the Academy’s Code of Conduct, ahead of our next scheduled Board meeting on April 18.”

Will loses his right to vote with his resignation. But there are other, lesser-known benefits of being part of the academy, Hollywood’s most prestigious organization: It gives the industry credibility to its members. It is for invitations only and with a membership review once a year.

The resignation came two days after the academy’s board of directors met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Will for violating the group’s standards of conduct. These proceedings could have resulted in suspension or expulsion, and it was not immediately clear what additional punishment he could face.

Had he been expelled, Will would have joined a small group of men removed from the academy: Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and actress Carmine Caridi, who were fired for sharing awards.

On Sunday, Will stepped up from the front row of his Dolby Theater chair and hit Chris, who had made a joke on Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. Moments later, he won the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard.

Chris, who was about to present Oscar for best documentary, refused to bring charges when police asked him. He has only briefly mentioned the attack in public and said at a comedy concert in Boston this week that he was still “processing what happened”.

Will stunned Chris, the theater audience and the audience at home as he took the stage after Chris joked, “Sure, I love you. GI Jane 2, can not wait to see it.”

Jada, who has spoken publicly about her hair loss condition, alopecia, had a hard shaved head similar to Demi Moore’s in the original film.

After Will’s attack, he returned to his seat and twice shouted angrily at Rock to “get my wife’s name out of your (statement) mouth.” When Will resumed the stage less than an hour later to receive his Oscar, he tearfully apologized to the academy but above all omitted any mention of Chris.

The fallout was immediate and intense. Will had supporters to come to his wife’s defense, but he was widely condemned for responding violently and for ruining both his long-awaited Oscar victory and overshadowing the night’s other winners.


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