The King Richard star revealed in a statement sent to People that he is ready to “accept any and all consequences” for his actions and said he “betrayed the trust” of the Academy.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the Oscar-winning actor said.
“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.”
Smith announced he will be resigning from his membership in the Academy and apologised for eclipsing the celebrations of other Oscar winners during the 94th Academy Awards.
“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” he continued.
“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.”
David Rubin, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the publication Smith’s resignation has been accepted.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Rubin said in a statement.
“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.”
Smith also released a statement on his personal Instagram account in the days after the 2022 Oscar ceremony, apologising to Rock directly.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he began the lengthy statement posted on Instagram.
“My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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,” he continues. “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.”
Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
The comedian targeted Pinkett Smith’s bald head in his monologue, saying he was looking forward to “seeing her in G.I. Jane 2“. Given Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia — a condition that causes hair loss — the comment did not sit well with Smith.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth. Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth!” he yelled from across the room when returning to his seat after storming the stage and slapping Rock.
After the controversy, Academy revealed in a statement that it had launched a formal review into Smith’s actions.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
According to the Oscars official website, Academy membership is limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures.
The Academy’s membership process is by sponsorship, not application. Candidates must be sponsored by two Academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission.
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