Will Smith, one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, has officially resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after his infamous “smack” of Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.
“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” Will Smith said in part in a statement on Friday that was shared with People.com by a representative.
Smith has acted in movies since his first major roles in the drama Six Degrees of Separation, released in 1993, and the wildly successful action film Bad Boys in 1995, in which he co-starred with Martin Lawrence.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he added.
Smith Says He Hurt Many With His Actions
“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.”
Smith said that he has been broken up since the incident and wants to step aside from the firestorm of drama that has resulted.
“I am heartbroken,” he said.
“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.
He added, “I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.”
Smith Continues, Announcing Official Departure From the Academy
Smith added that he is aware that change takes time, and he has plans to work on non-violent ways of resolving his issues in the future.
“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 of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also issued a statement.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Rubin said according to People.com.
“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.”