Will Smith is resigning from the Academy following his shocking actions at the 94th Annual Academy Awards last Sunday (March 27). 

If you can recall, Will went on stage and slapped Chris Rock after Chris made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. The incident sent shockwaves throughout the industry and audiences. The Academy has since condemned Will’s actions and has launched a formal investigation. 

On Friday (April 1), the 53-year-old actor released a statement about “resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.” Here’s what Will said:

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. 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. “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.”

The Academy accepted Will’s resignation, with Academy president David Rubin responding via statement:

“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.”


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