Will Smith Resigns From Film Academy After ‘Inexcusable’ Oscars Slap

Will Smith gets emotional after winning the best actor trophy at the 94th Academy Awards, March 27, 2022. (Credit: YouTube/ABC)

As the fallout continues from Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, Smith said Friday he has resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

In a statement, the Oscar-winning actor said he was “heartbroken” but ready to accept the consequences after receiving a disciplinary hearing notice from the film academy.

“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.

“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,” his statement continued. “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

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Academy President David Rubin announced Friday the organization had received and accepted Smith’s “immediate resignation.”

“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,” Rubin said.

Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech at Sunday’s Oscars, and publicly issued an apology to Rock in a lengthy statement Monday on Instagram.

On Wednesday, the Academy’s board of governors began disciplinary hearings on Smith and a possible suspension, expulsion or other sanctions based on the group’s code of conduct. During the board’s next meeting on April 18, it will decide what action, if any, to take against Smith.