Will Smith, who has recently been in the news for slapping presenter Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony, announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and said that he was open to further punishment for his actions.
In a statement released on Friday, Smith, who won the award for Best Actor this year, said, “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. 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,” Smith’s statement read.
“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,” the 53-year-old actor said, concluding his statement.
Responding to Smith’s statement, Academy president David Rubin said, “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,” Rubin added. Days earlier, the Academy had said that Smith had refused to leave the ceremony after the incident despite being asked to do so, and had given the actor time till April 18 to explain his conduct.
However, despite the public backlash against the Oscar-winning actor, Chris Rock refused to press charges against him, and even silenced a fan for abusing Smith during his first show after the 2022 Oscars in Boston.