Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It comes after he slapped comedian Chris Rock during last Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.
The Men in Black actor lashed out at the comedian after he told a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock referred to looking forward to seeing her star in the next GI Jane film, a joke about her alopecia.
In a statement, Smith said his actions were “inexcusable” and he would “accept any further consequences”. The star is still set to face a disciplinary hearing over the incident.
Read moreNew footage of ‘distraught’ Chris Rock just after Will Smith slap
He wrote: “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 apologised for his actions after he hit the funny man during the show. He then said: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”