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Will Smith Resigns From Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Smith also says he "will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate"

Oscars 2022 Review
Will Smith, Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
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    Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences after assaulting Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Academy Awards.

    In a statement released Friday, Smith said:

    “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.”

    Smith’s resignation has been accepted by the Academy. “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 18th,” the Academy’s CEO, David Rubin, said in a statement.

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    If you’re waking up just now from a six-day nap, then you’ve missed a highly dramatic week, one where it seemed like everyone in Hollywood (except Daniel Radcliffe, bless him) felt the need to weigh in with an opinion about the incident, in which Smith chose violence after Rock made a pointed joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith’s wife.

    As Smith acknowledged in the statement, the Academy’s board is still planning to meet regarding additional consequences for the actor’s actions. No longer being a member of the Academy will primarily mean that Smith will not be able to vote on future Oscar awards (or receive screeners) — it will still be possible for him to be nominated for future film work.

    While “The Slap,” as it’s been reduced to on social media, has fueled seemingly endless conversations as to Smith’s motivations for hitting Rock and who was laughing when, this is the first confirmation of repercussions for Smith’s actions on Sunday. It’s highly unlikely that this will be the final word on the matter, but in the meantime, we can continue to enjoy Maynard James Keenan using this as an opportunity to show off his Jui Jitsu skills.

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