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Will Smith has resigned from the Academy. What does that mean?

Smith said on Friday that he would be resigning from the Academy and will "accept any further consequences" following his altercation with Chris Rock.
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Will Smith announced on Friday night that he was resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

Smith's resignation came just days after he slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony on Sunday and followed his public apology to the comedian.

In his resignation, Smith said that he is “heartbroken,” adding that he would like 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. “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

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The decision means that Smith, 53, will no longer be a voting member of the Academy, Variety reported. As it stands, he will still retain his Oscar for best actor, can be nominated for future consideration by the Academy, and can still be invited to future ceremonies.

David Rubin, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, confirmed that the Academy had “received and accepted” Smith’s resignation in a statement to NBC News. Disciplinary proceedings against the actor for violating the standards of conduct will still take place during the Academy’s upcoming board meeting on April 18. 

During Sunday’s broadcast of the Oscars, Rock, 57, was presenting the best documentary award and made a joke that referenced Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith has been open over the years about her struggles with alopecia and hair loss.

Smith appeared to take offense to the joke and went on stage and smacked Rock in the face, before cursing the comedian out from his seat.

Rock declined to file a police report, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. 

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In the days following the incident, more information was released about the aftermath of the tense moment. In a statement the next day, the Academy said that Smith was asked to leave but “refused.”

Will Packer, who was the broadcast producer for the 2022 Oscars, cleared up some of the rumors that were spreading after the incident during an interview with ABC News earlier this week. During the interview, Packer talked about being present with Rock and the LAPD.

“They were saying, you know, this is battery, was the word they use in that moment,” Packer said. “They said, we will go get him. We are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him."

Packer said that as the police department was giving the comedian options, but Chris was “dismissive of those options,” explaining, “He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was like, ‘no, no, no.’”

Smith and Rock’s altercation during the Oscars telecast caused a stir on social media from fans, family, and fellow celebrities. As the week progressed, comedians continued to rally around Rock.

The comedian spoke out on the incident for the first time on Wednesday, March 30, saying that he is “still kind of processing” the moment.

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