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Film

Will Smith resigns from Academy after Oscar slap of Chris Rock

@LeeThomasMason

Will Smith, the winner of the coveted Best Actor award at the 94th Oscars ceremony, has resigned from the Academy following his much-debated slap of comedian Chris Rock.

Creating a brutally uncomfortable mood in the Dolby Theatre of Los Angeles, Smith reacted angrily after presenter Rock made an unsavoury joke directed at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her battle against alopecia. The significance of ‘the slap’ took over from all the other magnificent successes of the awards show, with the press uninterested in anything else besides the gossip behind the violent act.  

As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Board of Governors we due to make a decision on Smith’s future in the coveted club of esteemed actors, Smith has decided to act first, removing himself from the Academy.

“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,” Smith said in statement issued to Deadline. “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.”

Smith continued: “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.”