Will Smith resigns from the Academy, Bad Boys 4 halted
His resignation comes after the Academy met to discuss the consequences of the actor's actions, which he claims that he will accept.
Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) after slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. Smith said that he "betrayed the trust of the Academy" and will be willing to accept "any further consequences."
Smith, on Friday afternoon, released a statement where the actor described his actions as "shocking, painful and inexcusable."
Here's Will Smith's full statement on the #Oscars incident: https://t.co/WrMBlz2gBy pic.twitter.com/k1u9aqsWjh— Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2022
He 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.
"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.”
Read more: The Academy reveals Will Smith refused to leave Oscars after slapping Rock
The resignation is Smith's attempt at saving face from a decision by the Academy to oust him following its members' meeting on Wednesday, promising to initiate proceedings against the King Richard actor.
With his resignation, Smith will lose voting privileges and industry credibility. The Academy is Hollywood's most prestigious organization; members can only join if they're invited, and it's a once-a-year membership review.
AMPAS president David Rubin accepted Smith's resignation, saying: “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."
Only a handful have been expelled from the Academy previously; names with scandals tied to them like Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby.
While many have come to Smith's support for defending his wife, Jada Pinkett, many others have condemned Smith's use of violence to convey a message in response to Rock's G.I. Jane joke. Many even questioned why Smith was even allowed to remain seated and claim his award after the incident.
“I think what many of us were hoping was that he would go on that stage and make it better,” Packer said in an interview with Good Morning America.
“We were hoping that he would make it better, that he would stand on that stage and say what just happened minutes ago was absolutely and completely wrong [and say], ‘Chris Rock, I’m so sorry, please forgive me.’ That’s what I was hoping for. I felt like he was going to win and I was hoping that if he stayed, he said that.”
Rock refused to press charges against Smith, and has not addressed the issue since it happened.
On the same day as the resignation, according to The Hollywood Reporter, work on Smith's blockbuster movie produced by Sony, Bad Boys 4, has been halted after the slapping incident.