Will Smith resigns from film academy over Chris Rock slap

Jada Pinkett Smith, left, and Will Smith arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. The stunning physical altercation between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday has sparked debate about the appropriate ways for Black men to publicly defend Black women against humiliation and abuse

Jada Pinkett Smith, left, and Will Smith arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Will Smith resigned Friday from the motion picture academy following his Oscars night slap of Chris Rock and said he would accept any further punishment the organization imposed.

A spokesperson for Smith issued a statement from the actor Friday afternoon.

“I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” Smith said in the statement.

“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,” Smith’s statement said. “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. ”

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Smith’s resignation came two days after the academy met to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group’s standards of conduct.

On Sunday, Smith strode from his front-row Dolby Theatre seat on to the stage and smacked Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Moments later, he went on to win the best actor award for his role in “King Richard.”

Rock, who was about to present Oscar for best documentary, declined to file charges when asked by police.

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