Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences following nearly a week of controversy after his altercation with Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Oscars.
This comes as he faced possible suspension or expulsion for violating
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” his statement reads in part.
“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.”
Thursday, the Oscars are now in hot water with folks on social media for perhaps misquoting their involvement in trying to get Will Smith to leave after he slapped Chris Rock.
The Academy said that they “asked” Smith to leave and he refused. But according to Deadline and other outlets, Smith was merely “suggested” to leave after slapping Rock for making a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair. Reportedly, Academy President David Robin and CEO Dawn Hudson talked to Smith’s rep about the possibility of him leaving the awards show. Reportedly, Smith said he wanted to stay to apologize to the audience.
Another insider states that the Academy did, in fact, make a “firm ask” to Smith to leave. So the ultimate answer is that it’s still not clear what happened that night. Even less clear is what role producer Will Packer had in handling the incident.
Variety states, “sources close to the situation are refuting that the actor was ever formally urged to leave the show. It appears that in the chaos that surrounded the altercation, the Academy and the show’s producer sent mixed message[s] about whether Smith should be expelled from the event….That description of events doesn’t sit well with a few individuals with knowledge of the fraught minutes following the Rock slap. They claim that some Academy members expressed that they wanted Smith removed, but they also say that no formal or explicit ask was ever made.
Oscars producer Will Packer spoke about the situation Friday on 'Good Morning America'
He says Smith was not asked to leave because that is not what Rock wanted, but a later report also said that Rock was never asked this to begin with.
The Academy’s Board of Governors plans to convene April 18, which is when the Board of Governors will decide what kind of disciplinary actions to slap (pun not intended) Smith with.
Smith issued an apology on social media earlier this week.
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