Apr 1, 2022 - Economy

Will Smith resigns from Academy over Chris Rock slap

Photo of Will Smith speaking into a mic on a stage

Will Smith accepts the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for "King Richard" during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27 in Los Angeles. Photo: Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Will Smith said Friday that he will resign from his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and "fully accept any and all consequences" for slapping Chris Rock at Sunday's Oscars, Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: The Academy said this week that it has launched "disciplinary proceedings" against Smith, whose actions made headlines around the world. Smith, who won the Best Actor award that night, slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.

What he's saying: Smith said in a statement that he has "directly responded" to the Academy's disciplinary hearing notice.

  • "My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful and inexcusable," he said.
  • "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."
  • "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 added.
  • "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."

The big picture: The actor apologized to Rock on Instagram earlier this week, saying the joke was "too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

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