Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences after slapping Chris Rock on stage.
The actor on Friday announced in a statement that his actions were inexcusable and deprived other nominees and awardees from celebrating.
“I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate,” Smith said in a statement shared by his publicist.
Smith’s statement concluded, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Smith slapped Rock over a joke about his wife’s shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia.
Less than an hour later, he was awarded the best actor award for his role in “King Richard”, where he played the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
Smith’s statement read 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.”
David Rubin, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in a statement Friday that the organization has received and accepted Smith’s “immediate resignation.”
“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,” Rubin added.
Disciplinary actions by the Academy include suspension or expulsion, along with “other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct,” the organization said.
Rock addressed the episode during a stand-up show in Boston on Wednesday, saying he was “still kind of processing what happened”.
The comedian, 57, who is currently starring in his “Ego Death” tour of the US, was greeted with a standing ovation by fans.
Rock had earlier decided not to press criminal charges against Smith, reports say.