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Will Smith Resigns From Academy After Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Will Smith, who slapped the comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, said Friday that he was resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying that he had “betrayed” its trust with conduct that was “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

The sudden announcement came late Friday afternoon, days after the Academy had condemned Mr. Smith’s actions and opened an inquiry into the incident.  

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work,” he said in the statement. “I am heartbroken.”

He said that he would “accept any further consequences the board deems appropriate.”

“Change takes time,” he concluded, “and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

Now that he has resigned, Mr. Smith will no longer have access to academy screenings and events. He will also not be able to vote in the Academy Awards. However, he could still be nominated for an award, since being a member is not a requirement for eligibility.  

Mr. Smith’s resignation came roughly 12 hours after Will Packer, the lead producer of the Oscars telecast, spoke publicly about the episode for the first time. 

On Sunday night, Smith walked on to the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and smacked Rock, who had made a joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. 

Moments later, he went on to win the best actor award for his role in King Richard.

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


Source: New York Times

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