Will Smith resigns from The Academy amid Chris Rock Oscars slap backlash
LOS ANGELES - Will Smith has reportedly resigned from The Academy in the wake of the Chris Rock Oscars slap.
Smith is stepping down from the Academy just days after the actor walked up the stage during Rock's monologue and slapped the comedian in the face. The attack comes in response to Rock's joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's appearance, comparing the actress' appearance with Demi Moore's character in the 1997 film GI Jane.
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Pinkett Smith revealed several years ago that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has in the past explained on social media that her condition has led to hair loss.
A statement has been released by Will Smith's spokesperson following the actor's decision to step down from The Academy.
"I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable," Smith said, in part, in the statement.
Below is a full statement released by the Hollywood megastar:
"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. 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's board of governors met Wednesday to discuss possible disciplinary actions against Smith for violating the group’s standards of conduct. The Academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
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On Friday, The Academy issued a statement in response to Smith's decision to resign from the organization:
"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."
Smith apologized to Rock on Monday, saying, "I was out of line and I was wrong."
Rock appeared in his scheduled comedy tour stop in Boston Wednesday and briefly addressed the Oscars controversy.
"How was your weekend?" Rock asked the sold-out crowd at the Wilbur, a theater of 1,200 seats in South Boston. "I had a whole list of jokes before this week happened."
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Rock declined to file criminal charges against Smith. A producer for the Oscars revealed Thursday that the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Smith but Rock stepped in to tell officers to not take any actions.
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