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Will Smith quits the film academy after Chris Rock slap

April 2, 2022

Hollywood actor Will Smith resigned from the film academy and said he will accept any consequences for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. The film academy had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith.

Will Smith at the Oscars
Will Smith said he would accept any further punishment the organization imposed.Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/picture alliance

Actor Will Smith announced on Friday that he is resigning from the motion picture academy following his Oscars night slap of Chris Rock.

He added that he would accept any further punishment the organization imposed.

"I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,'' Smith said in the statement issued by a spokesperson on Friday.

"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,'' the statement said.

The resignation comes two days after the film academy initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations of their standards of conduct.

The academy's president, David Rubin, said Smith's resignation has been accepted but the disciplinary proceedings will continue to go ahead as planned.

The statement added: "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.''

Will Smith resigns from film academy

What happened at the Oscars?

On Sunday, Smith strode from his front-row seat onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face for making a joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith,

Rock — who was appearing as a presenter — joked about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, as he referenced the 1997 film "G.I. Jane" in which actress Demi Moore had shaved her head. 

Four screengrabs showing Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.
The film academy said it had asked the actor to leave the Oscars after the incident but Smith refusedImage: Brian Snyder/REUTERS

Smith's wife has in the past spoken about her alopecia diagnosis — a disease that leads to hair loss.

Less than an hour after the incident, Smith went on to win the best actor award for his role in "King Richard."

Rock, who was about to present Oscar for best documentary, declined to file charges when asked by police.

A day later on Monday, Smith apologized to the comedian in an Instagram post saying he was "out of line."

On Wednesday, the film academy revealed that it had asked the actor to leave the Oscars after the incident but Smith refused to do so.

fh/sms (AP, Reuters)

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