Recently, the media was agog with the news that a ‘heartbroken’ Will Smith has resigned from the Academy, after that infamous Chris Rock slap. But what does that mean, for Smith, and his recent Oscar win?
In fact, what does it mean for an actor to resign from the Academy, and has it been done before? To what effect? There have been others who have been expelled from the Academy, taking into consideration the bad or illegal behavior of the member. Yet, no actor has ever been stripped of their Oscar. Will Will Smith be the first?
Will Smith Resigned From Academy, ‘Heartbroken’
Will Smith set a negative precedent at the 94th Annual Academy Awards last Sunday when he slapped Chris Rock into a stunned silence? At the time, Rock had cracked a joke on Jada‘s to-the-point-of-baldness haircut, likening her to GI Jane. Jada rolled her eyes and Smith strode up to “smack the sh– out of” Rock.
The Academy was not impressed and let Smith know, sending him a disciplinary hearing notice. While Smith had apologized to the Academy at the event itself and later also issued a social media apology to Chris Rock, his behavior was still seen as demeaning. Taking note of the same, Smith finally resigned and issued a formal statement.
It read: “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. 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 further stated, “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 Was Quick To Accept
After Smith’s resignation, David Rubin, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also issued a statement: “We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”
The Board of Governors initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith on Wednesday, stating “violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”
Will Smith’s Oscar May Not Be Rescinded
Andrew Garfield reacreating Will Smith’s slap after the oscars pic.twitter.com/9KvSZN6ouK
— Sƿɿძ૯ylɿf૯ (@SpideylifeOne) March 31, 2022