Heartbroken Will Smith resigns from the Academy after slapping Chris Rock
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Will Smith resigned from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Friday after slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars on Sunday.
“I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” Smith — who socked the comedian over a bald joke he’d made aimed toward Jada Pinkett Smith — said in a statement to Page Six.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he continued in a lengthy statement. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, 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. I am heartbroken.”
Smith continued, “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.
“Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” he concluded.
The “King Richard” star was reportedly facing possible expulsion or suspension from The Academy over the incident, but beat them to the punch with his resignation.
Smith apologized for the incident Monday, sharing via Instagram, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Smith went on to apologize to “the Academy, producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” as well as to “the Williams Family and my King Richards Family.”
“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,” he concluded. “I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.”
Rock reportedly was encouraged to file charges against Smith, but refused.
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