Will Smith Resigns from the Academy Following Violent Behaviour at Oscars

By Vanessa Obioha

Hollywood actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, after being condemned for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Smith, in a statement on Friday said that he had “betrayed” its trust with conduct that was “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”

“I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”

During the 94th Academy Awards, Rock had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith loss of hair. His joke provoked Smith who stood up, strode to the stage, slapped Rock and then returned to his seat shouting “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth!”

The slap seen all over the world stunned many and the Academy after apologising for Smith’s behaviour, 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,” Smith said in the statement.

The Academy acknowledged his resignation in a statement.

“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” David Rubin, its president, said in a statement. “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.”

Mr. Smith will no longer have access to academy screenings and events, no longer eligible to vote in the Academy Awards, but  could still be nominated for an award, since being a member is not a requirement for eligibility.

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