Will Smith has resigned from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences!
The 53-year-old actor has been the focal point of worldwide attention all week after slapping 57-year-old comedian Chris Rock on stage during the live Oscars telecast on Sunday night. Rock drew Smith’s ire after making a bald joke at the expense of the Independence Day star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from hair loss related to alopecia.
Related: Former Co-Star Describes How Will Smith ‘Bullied And Humiliated’ Him On ‘Ali’ Set
On Friday afternoon, the Men In Black alum took the most significant step so far in the aftermath of the on-screen slap, officially resigning from The Academy in the midst of the organization’s investigation into his conduct at the high-profile awards show.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon and obtained by multiple media outlets, including Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Smith revealed he is stepping away from his membership in the prestigious organization. Calling his own violent actions towards the Everybody Hates Chris actor to be “shocking, painful and inexcusable,” Smith shared this statement with the public (below):
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. 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.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum went on from there, getting to the key point of the new public message with a confirmation that he would in fact be resigning from the organization and will ALSO “accept any further consequences” that may be levied against him.
“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. 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 responded with a statement of their own, saying:
“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.”
Sounds like this doesn’t put things to rest after all. Huh.
Of course, this follows just days after Smith’s first public statement about the incident, which was published Monday via his official Instagram account. In that message to the world, the King Richard star wrote that he was “a work in progress,” and added in part (below):
“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. 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.”
And now comes the official resignation. Quite the Friday afternoon news dump…
Are U surprised by this or not, Perezcious readers?
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