Will Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday after slapping Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars Sunday night. A statement shared with CNN by Smith’s publicist said he was heartbroken and stated that he would accept all consequences for his behavior.
“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.
This comes a few days after Smith slapped Rock during the live broadcast on Sunday night when the comedian—who was presenting the Best Documentary—made a remark about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which is due to her alopecia. Smith later subtly apologized to the Academy onstage shortly after receiving an Oscar for Best Actor in his role as Richard Williams in King Richard.
The Academy’s board of governors had launched its “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith for breaking the organizations’ standards of conduct. During these proceedings, the board will determine what action to take, if any, at its next meeting on April 18, including suspension or expulsion, but as of Friday, Smith did his part to remove himself from the Academy. The Academy has accepted Smith’s resignation, but we will soon find out if there is more to his punishment.
Read his statement in full here:
“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.”
Friday’s statement was Smith’s most regretful and critical view of himself, and the situation compared to his apology at the ceremony and to Rock.