Will Smith has made the decision to resign from the Academy after he infamously slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Annual Academy Awards. His decision to resign comes shortly after the Academy initiated a review of his behavior during the ceremony, which could’ve resulted in expulsion or suspension from the Academy. In a statement obtained by HollywoodLife, the King Richard actor stated that he “betrayed the trust of the Academy” and is “heartbroken” over his actions.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
Will had also issued a public apology on social media on Monday, March 28. He directly addressed Chris Rock, stating that he was “out of line” and “embarrassed.” He also stated that “violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.” He also apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech for Best Actor but he hadn’t addressed Chris directly and chalked up his behavior to being protective of his family
Even though Will has pulled himself from the Academy, that doesn’t mean that the Academy will no longer draw its own conclusion. David Rubin, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, addressed Will’s decision to retire in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife. “We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” the statement read. “We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct.”
The slap heard around the world went down as Chris was presenting at the Oscars. Off the cuff, he made a joke about Will wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, bald head, comparing her to GI Jane. What Chris allegedly didn’t know is that Jada shaved her head because she has alopecia, an auto-immune condition that causes hair loss. While Will’s motive for slapping Chris is clear, he has acknowledged that he now feels violence wasn’t the right course of action, as reflected by his resignation.