Will Smith has resigned from the Academy after slapping Chris Rock on stage at the latest ceremony.
The King Richard star has faced heavy criticism for the incident, which unfolded after Rock made a joke at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense.
Shortly after, Smith won his first-ever Oscar for Best Actor, and has since apologised to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences over the altercation.
In a new statement published on Friday (1 April), the 53-year-old actor said he’s ‘directly responded’ to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice and he will ‘fully accept any and all consequences’ for what happened.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he continued.
“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.”
Variety has since clarified what this will mean for Smith and his future at the Oscars.
The publication reports that he’ll get to keep his Oscar for his role in King Richard, and can still get invited to future ceremonies and be nominated for future consideration.
However, his resignation means he’ll no longer be a voting member of the Academy. He has been a member of the Academy since 2001.
Smith’s announcement arrives after Deadline, Variety and other industry outlets reported that the actor faced discussions with the Academy on Tuesday (29 March) over Zoom.
Speaking to Variety, one source said the Zoom meeting lasted for roughly 30 minutes and included Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
Another source, however, said the conversation was only 'brief', while Deadline said the Zoom call only lasted six minutes.
Smith is said to have apologised for a second time during the meeting and acknowledged there would be consequences for his actions.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Oscars, Academy Awards, Will Smith, Chris Rock