Will Smith on Friday (April 1) resigned from the Academy after what he described as his “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” actions at last Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards.
The move comes ahead of an April 18 governors meeting to vote on appropriate disciplinary measures after the eventual best lead actor winner slapped Chris Rock and proceeded to shout expletives at the presenter in response to a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Scroll to the bottom for Smith’s full statement
Shortly after Smith’s representatives sent out the statement, Academy president David Rubin issued a reply that read, “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.”
It emerged yesterday that Smith spoke to Academy leadership in a brief Zoom call on Tuesday in which he apologised and was made aware of the disciplinary measures that could be taken against him, which include suspension and expulsion.
Earlier today Oscars telecast producer Will Packer said he learned Smith was about to be asked to leave the Dolby Theatre prior to the presentation of the best lead actor award and intervened, saying Rock did not want that to happen.
Smith’s statement in full:
”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.”