U.S. actor Will Smith received the Best Actor award on March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California for the lead role in “King Richard” on stage during the 94th Oscars.
Robin Beck | AFP | Getty Images
Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just days after he insulted comedian Chris Rock at the annual Los Angeles Oscars.
In a statement issued Friday, Smith said he would “accept any further consequences” as the group’s governing board deems fit.
Smith had previously apologized to the Academy and Rock. Just minutes after slapping Rock on Sunday night, Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “King Richard.”
“Love will drive you crazy,” he said in his acceptance speech, one of several apparent references to his attack on the comedian. Rock Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett joked about Smith’s intimate hair, which has alopecia, a skin condition that can cause hair to fall out.
On Wednesday, the organization behind the Oscars said its board of governors had initiated a disciplinary action against Smith for violating the group’s conduct standards. During the board’s next meeting on April 18, it said it would decide what action to take, including a moratorium or expulsion.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Smith at the awards ceremony Sunday, according to one of the show’s producers, but Rock refused to press charges. The academy said Smith refused to leave the show after hitting the comedian.
Rock, meanwhile, refrains from commenting too deeply on the slap. He told the crowd at a comedy show in Boston earlier this week that he was “still processing what happened.”
Smith, who has been one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars for decades, made a name for himself as a blockbuster star in the “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” franchises. But he blended into serious dramatic roles such as “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happiness”, which seemed like a search for Oscar glory. Now his long-awaited Academy Awards will forever be associated with the most tragic moment in the show’s history.
Read Smith’s full statement:
I have responded directly to the notice of disciplinary hearing of the Academy, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My work at the 94th Academy Awards was shocking, painful and unforgivable.
The list of those I’ve hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dearest friends and loved ones, everyone in attendance, and the worldwide audience at home. I have betrayed the trust of the academy. I have deprived other nominees and winners of the opportunity to celebrate and celebrate for their extraordinary work. I’m very upset. I would like to return the focus to those who deserve attention for their achievements and let the Academy go back to the incredible work of supporting creativity and artistry in film.
Therefore, I am resigning from the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences if the Board deems it appropriate.
Change takes time, and I am committed to doing what I can to ensure that violence never goes away again.