In a stunning move, Will Smith has decided to resign from the Academy on the same day producer Will Packer had his interview on “Good Morning America” to describe his encounter with Chris Rock shortly after the slap occurred last Sunday at the 94th annual Academy Awards.
Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors was set to convene later this month to decide on disciplinary measures against the “King Richard” actor, it seems that Smith has decided to resign.
Will Smith Is Willing To Accept ‘Any And All Consequences For My Conduct’
It should be noted that the Academy was never planning on taking away his first-ever Best Actor Oscar. Instead, the Academy was deciding whether or not they should suspend or expel Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock after he made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss condition, known as alopecia.
In a statement shared by Deadline, the new Oscar winner called his actions shocking and inexcusable.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he began. “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
“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,” he continued. “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,” he went on. “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.”
He concluded his statement, saying, “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.”
The Academy has yet to issue a formal response to Will Smith’s resignation, which was just announced late on Friday night. A virtual meeting containing over fifty governors was held on March 30. At the meeting, Smith was notified that he had fifteen days to respond in writing to their decision that he had violated the Academy’s standards of conduct. The group was supposed to meet again on April 18 to decide his punishment. Sources in the industry stated that they expected a long suspension and no invitation to next year’s Academy Award ceremony was the most likely punishment that he would have received.
Earlier this week, Smith also issued an apology to Chris Rock for the Oscars slap seen around the world, acknowledging that his behavior was out of line.
Will Smith Issued Public Apology To Chris Rock: ‘I Am A Work In Progress’
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On Monday night, Smith began his apology by saying, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.”
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he continued. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” he went on. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
“I am a work in progress,” he concluded. “Sincerely, Will.”
It remains to be seen what next steps the Academy will take in light of his resignation.