ZB

Will Smith resigns from Academy after Oscars scandal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 2 Apr 2022, 12:39pm

Will Smith resigns from Academy after Oscars scandal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 2 Apr 2022, 12:39pm

Will Smith has announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 

The actor faced possible expulsion or suspension from the Academy after assaulting comedian Chris Rock on stage during the Oscars earlier this week, reports Variety. 

Instead, he's chosen to resign, calling his actions "shocking, painful and inexcusable" and adding that he will submit to any further consequences the Academy deems necessary. 

Smith shocked the world at this year's ceremony when he took to the stage and hit Chris Rock after the comedian made a cruel joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head. 

"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," Smith said. 

"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. 

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

Rock compared Jada Pinkett Smith to G.I. Jane because of her shaved head - however, she suffers from hair loss due to alopecia. 

"Get my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth," Smith told Rock at the time. 

The Academy later claimed it asked Smith to leave the ceremony and he refused - but sources have since said he was never formally asked to leave. 

Smith was then awarded the Oscar for Best Actor, apologising for his actions to all but Chris Rock in a tearful acceptance speech. 

On Monday, the actor issued an apology to Rock, saying, "I was out of line and I was wrong", adding that "a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear." 

The Academy is moving forward with its formal investigation and disciplinary process.