Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying he has betrayed her trust and is heartbroken. It comes after he beat Chris Rock at the Oscars
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Actor Will Smith has resigned from the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and said on Friday that his slapping of host Chris Rock onstage at this year’s Academy Awards was “shocking, painful and inexcusable”.
“I betrayed the academy’s trust. I deprived other nominees and winners of the opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” Smith said in a statement.
“As such, I resign my membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and will accept any further consequences that the board deems appropriate,” he said.
At last Sunday’s Academy Awards, Smith strode onto the stage after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife showing up, and then slapped Rock in the face.
Less than an hour later, Smith delivered a tearful speech onstage as he accepted the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard.
Rock’s joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, referenced the 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
It was unclear if Rock knew Jada Pinkett Smith had a condition that causes hair loss.
David Rubin, president of the film academy, said Friday that the group accepts Smith’s resignation but will proceed with disciplinary proceedings that could result in additional sanctions.
The matter is scheduled to be discussed at the group’s next board meeting on April 18.
In his statement, Smith added, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Oscar producer Will Packer appeared on Good Morning America and shared how everyone there was stunned by Smith’s actions.
“It was like someone poured concrete in that room,” he said.
“It sucked the life out of that room and never came back.”
He added that many thought, “Is this real? How should I react?”
Packer went on to praise Rock for how he handled the moments immediately after the slap.
“I think he [saved the show with his composed reaction]. He certainly saved what was left of that night,” he said.
“Because Chris handled the moment with such grace and authority, the show was able to go on.”
According to the producer, the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest the actor, but didn’t do so after the comedian’s intervention.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/breaking-heartbroken-smith-resigns-academy-26616908 Heartbroken Will Smith resigns from Academy after beating Chris Rock at Oscars