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Will Smith announces he’s resigning from Academy after slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

The actor released an apologetic statement saying he will “accept any further consequences.”
Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards accepting his award for best actor.
Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards accepting his award for best actor.OBYN BECK/AFP / Getty Images

Will Smith has announced that he’s resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science after slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars.

In a statement on Friday, the actor once again apologized for his actions during the telecast and noted that he will “accept any further consequences.”

“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,” Smith expressed. “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 added that he “betrayed the trust of the academy,” and that he “deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work.”

“I am heartbroken,” he continued, stating that he wants 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,” he said, before concluding, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

David Rubin, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, confirmed Smith’s resignation.

“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 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 18,” Rubin said in a statement given to NBC News.

RELATED: New video shows Jada Pinkett Smith right after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock

The academy condemned Smith’s actions the day after the ceremony. On Wednesday, the Board of Governors announced that they initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct.

Rock was presenting the best documentary award during the March 27 ceremony when he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith previously talked about her hair loss and alopecia.

Smith took offense to the joke, proceeded to go on stage and smack Rock on the face. Less than an hour after the incident, Smith went on to win best actor for his role in “King Richard.”

That night, Rock declined to file a report against Smith. Oscars show producer Will Packer told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that authorities were ready to arrest Smith that night. 

RELATED: Did the academy actually ask Will Smith to leave the Oscars after he hit Chris Rock?

The academy claimed that Smith refused to leave the ceremony after smacking Rock. However, a source at the awards show told NBC News that the final decision came from one of the show’s producers, who asked the actor to stay.

Variety reported on Thursday that Smith, who publicly apologized to Rock on Monday, met with leaders of the organization for about 30 minutes via Zoom on Tuesday. The academy would not confirm the report.

Rock made his first comments regarding the altercation during his stand-up show on Wednesday. As the sold-out crowd gave him a standing ovation, he asked them how their weekend was.

“I don’t have a bunch of s--- about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened,” he said. “So, at some point I’ll talk about that s---. And it will be serious and funny.”

The comedian also reportedly stopped a heckler who cursed Smith during his show on Thursday.

RELATED: Chris Rock reportedly stops heckler who cursed Will Smith at comedy show