Will Smith resigns from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says slapping Chris Rock ‘shocking, painful, and inexcusable’

Will Smith resigns from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says slapping Chris Rock 'shocking, painful, and inexcusable'

Will Smith on Friday said he has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, five days after hitting Chris Rock, in a stunning moment during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, where he also refused to leave the proceedings after being asked to do so.

‘I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.’


— Smith

Smith in a statement on Friday said he would “fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the New York Times reported.

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” the paper reported.

“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” he continued. “I am heartbroken.”

He added that he “betrayed” the trust of the academy with conduct that he described as “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

The Academy’s board of governors had met Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group’s standards of conduct. 

On Friday, the Academy said it received and accepted Smith’s resignation but would continue its review of the assault.

On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the Academy and to viewers, saying “I was out of line and I was wrong.”

The notorious slap came after Smith took offense to a joke made by Rock about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and hit Rock onstage, then yelled expletives from his seat.

Pinkett Smith, who sported a shaved head during Sunday’s Oscars, has openly spoken of having alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss, and Rock joked that he was looking forward to Pinkett Smith’s sequel to “G.I. Jane,” which prompted Smith to stand up rom his seat near the stage and slap Rock. 

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Smith later won the Oscar for best actor for his role in “King Richard,” and in his tearful acceptance speech stressed how his character protected his family.

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