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Will Smith Resigns From The Academy In Wake of Oscar Slapgate

Will Smith Resigns From The Academy In Wake of Oscar Slapgate

Will Smith (Photo: Shutterstock)
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Will Smith announced on Friday (April 1), he has decided to resign from the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) after storming the Oscar stage on Sunday (March 27) and slapping Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife’s, Jada Pinkett Smith and her shaved hair. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that can cause hair loss.

In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Smith said he deprived the other nominees and winners of their time in the spotlight and would accept any consequences for the incident.

“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,” Smith said in the statement. “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.”

On Monday (March 28), Smith, who was named the Best Actor of 2022 for his role in “King Richard,” issued a public apology to Rock, the academy, and viewers, saying, “I was out of line, and I was wrong.” This followed an announcement by the Academy that they would be starting a formal review of Smith’s conduct. “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the organization said in a statement.  “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.”

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences condemned Smith for striking Rock. Its governors met Wednesday (March 30) to discuss disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations of the group’s standards of conduct. The academy said it had asked Smith to leave the ceremony after hitting Rock, but he refused to do so. “Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the academy said. “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”

Rock was about to present the award for best documentary when he made the G.I. Jane joke. For his part, there’s been radio silence except for him telling a crowd at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre this week that he’s “still processing the incident.”

Smith’s resignation from the Oscars means he can still be nominated for any future Oscars, attend upcoming ceremonies and keep the gold man he’s already won. However, he can no longer vote for the Oscars – and the Academy’s formal review is still ongoing.

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