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‘Shocking, painful and inexcusable’: Will Smith resigns from film academy over Chris Rock slap at Oscars

Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he slapped Chris Rock during last Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

In a statement, Smith said: “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.”

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The moment Smith hit Rock at the Oscars

‘I am heartbroken’

He added: “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.”

More on Chris Rock

Smith’s resignation came two days after the Academy met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the actor for violations against the group’s standards of conduct.

On Sunday night, Smith walked on to the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and smacked Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith cries as he accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in "King Richard" at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Image:
Smith won the Oscar for best actor in King Richard

Moments later, he went on to win the best actor award for his role in King Richard.

Rock, who was about to present the Oscar for best documentary, declined to file charges when asked by police.

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