Will Smith resigns from Oscars Academy after slapping Chris Rock

Actor Will Smith has resigned from Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage during the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

In a statement, the 53-year-old actor said he had “betrayed the academy”, as he apologised for his “shocking, painful, and inexcusable” actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation.

He said he would “fully accept any and all consequences” for his conduct at the awards.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He added: “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason."

Smith’s apology comes less than a week after he slapped Chris Rock on stage, after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia.

The Academy confirmed it had received his resignation, and said it would push forward with disciplinary proceedings against him, the details of which are to be discussed at a board meeting on April 18.

Before his resignation, Smith publicly apologised to Rock online after the incident, saying "violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive", while his wife Pinkett Smith called for a "season of healing".

Read More

Read More
Game Of Thrones: When does House Of The Dragon come out? Game Of Thrones prequel...
Will Smith has tendered his resignation from the body that awards the Oscars after his attack on Chris Rock during the weekend ceremony. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Will Packer, producer of the 2022 academy awards ceremony, told Good Morning America that the Los Angeles Police Department were “prepared” to arrest and charge Smith after the incident.

However, according to Packer, Rock was “very dismissive of those options”, and “had not wanted to make a bad situation worse.”

The Academy also issued an apology for the way they handled the situation.

“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy said in a statement.

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“While we would like to clarify that Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognise we could have handled the situation differently.”

“Mr Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the academy said.

“Mr Rock, we apologise to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment.

“We also apologise to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”

Read Will Smith’s Full Statement below:

"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."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.