Will Smith resigns from Academy over Oscars slapping incident
Hollywood actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), days after he slapped comedian Chris Rock on the stage of Oscars 2022. In a statement released on Friday, the I Am Legend star said he would "accept any further consequences" to his action as deemed appropriate by the Academy. Notably, the AMPAS has accepted his immediate resignation.
- Smith slapping Rock at the 94th Oscars became the unfortunate highlight of the event.
- Although Smith had apologized during his acceptance speech that night—as he won the Best Actor for King Richard—he was looking at suspension or expulsion from the Academy as the Board of Governors began disciplinary proceedings.
- So it can be said that before getting kicked out, Smith gracefully took a leave.
"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," Smith said in the statement issued on Friday. He described his actions as "shocking, painful, and inexcusable." The "heartbroken" Aladdin star also noted how his action overshadowed the achievements of other Oscar nominees and winners.
During the awards ceremony, Rock took the stage to present the Oscar for best documentary feature and insensitively joked about Smith's wife-actor Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. Reacting to this, Smith walked onto the stage and smacked the comedian. Notably, Pinkett Smith struggles with alopecia.
What does resigning from the Academy mean for Smith? Basically, he has given up his membership in the esteemed Academy and will no longer enjoy member-only benefits. This includes his ability to vote for potential nominees at the Oscars. However, this isn't likely to affect his chances of getting invited to future events. Moreover, Smith might not have to return his well-earned Oscar, too.
The Board of Governors will decide what action to take, if any, against the actor-producer at their next meeting on April 18. After Smith stuck Rock onstage, a producer of the show revealed, the Los Angeles Police Department was prepared to arrest the former. But Rock declined to press charges. Moreover, the Academy said Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but he "refused."