Will Smith Resigns From Academy After Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Will Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences after slapping presenter Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony: "I betrayed the trust of the Academy."

By Lindsay Weinberg Apr 01, 2022 11:27 PMTags
Watch: Will Smith RESIGNS From Academy After Oscars 2022 Slap

Will Smith is taking a step back in the aftermath of his Oscars outburst.

The Men in Black star resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which hosts the Oscars, less than a week after he slapped presenter Chris Rock onstage during the ceremony, according to a statement obtained by E! News on April 1.

"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 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. I am heartbroken."

He said he will accept "any and all" additional consequences for his actions, adding, "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."

Celebrities React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Academy president David Rubin said he has received and accepted Smith's resignation, per a statement obtained by E! News. He said the Academy "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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By resigning, Smith, 53, can no longer vote in future Academy Awards.

During the March 27 show, Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, leading Smith to shout, "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth." Smith went on to win an Oscar for his role in King Richard about half an hour later and has since apologized for slapping Rock

The Academy has been exploring consequences for Smith's actions, which could include "suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions," such as being banned from Academy events. The organization said he violated the Academy's Standards of Conduct, which prohibits "inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior."

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An Academy statement earlier this week also said that Smith was "asked to leave the ceremony and refused."

However, Oscars producer Will Packer said that Rock advocated for Smith to stay.

"The LAPD made it clear: ‘We will do whatever you want us to do and one of the options is that we will go and arrest him right now,'" Packer told Good Morning America on April 1, saying the police came and talked to Rock in Packer's office.

"They were laying out very clearly what Chris' rights were," Packer said, "and they were saying, ‘This is battery. We will go get him. We are prepared. We're prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him.'"

Rock, who decided not to press charges, went on to give a standup show in Boston later in the week, telling the crowd that he was still "processing" the events of the weekend.

E! News has reached out to Rock and Smith's reps for comment.

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