In the fallout of what has arguably been the most infamous Academy Awards ceremony, Will Smith has decided to discipline himself, as he awaits further word from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, by resigning from the organization for his “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” actions after slapping comedian Chris Rock during the live broadcast Sunday.
Smith asserted that he would “never again allow violence to overtake reason” in his continued efforts to prostrate himself over his response to a joke at the expense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. After Rock quipped he expected to see Pinkett Smith in a G.I. Jane sequel, Smith slapped the comedian in a move he now acknowledges “betrayed the trust of the Academy” and hurt a long list of people.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” Smith began his resignation Friday in a statement reported by Fox News Digital. “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
After having already publicly apologized to Rock late Monday on social media stating in part, “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be,” the actor reiterated the harm he brought to the comedian and others.
“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 added, “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,” he went on. “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,” Smith ultimately declared, “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,” he concluded.
Oscars producer says cops wanted to arrest Will Smith, but Chris Rock talked them out of it https://t.co/IL5IUXMJ7K pic.twitter.com/ZUThYVBFHl
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 1, 2022
The unprecedented assault at the prestigious award ceremony had police reportedly prepared to arrest Smith for battery. However, Rock declined to press charges over the matter. The comedian has yet to fully address the incident publicly and remarked Wednesday during his “Ego Death” comedy show that he was “still kind of processing what happened.”
Meanwhile, the Board of Governors for the Academy had begun their investigation of the incident Wednesday and made clear “disciplinary action” against Smith “may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
Dave Rubin, president of the Academy, issued his own statement in response to Smith’s untimely severance from the organization that said, “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.”
While the actor has voluntarily removed himself from the Academy, it remains possible that he may never be permitted reentry and that his Best Actor award for the film “King Richard,” where he portrayed Richard Williams, father and coach to tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, may be stripped from him.
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