Will Smith RESIGNS from the Academy as he meets possible removal for slapping Chris Rock


Will Smith left the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in the path of his onstage assault on Chris Rock during last Sunday’s 94th Oscars.

In a statement received by Variety on Friday, Smith called his actions during the tradition’ shocking, painful and inexcusable,’ adding that he would take any other consequences given by the Academy’s Board of Governors.

‘The list of those I have harmed is long and contains Chris, his family, many of my lovely friends and valued ones, all those in attendance, and international audiences at home,’ Smith said. ‘I betrayed the trust of the Academy, and I deprived other competitors and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be honored for their outstanding work. I am heartbroken.’

The actor also acknowledged that hitting Rock during the ceremony caused other prize winners to be surpassed.

‘I want to put the emphasis back on those who deserve attention for their accomplishments and permit the Academy to get back to the great work it does to support imagination and artistry in film,’ Smith, 53, said.

He also conveyed how ‘change takes time,’ and he is now ‘dedicated to doing the work to confirm that I never again allow violence to surpass reason.’

The Academy said it has received Smith’s ‘immediate resignation’ and will ‘resume moving forward’ with penal proceedings against him for violating the group’s standards of conduct. Smith resigned two days after the organization met to initiate the disciplinary hearings.

Academy of Motion, Picture Arts & Sciences membership is open to qualified artists – from actors, writers, production members, and more – working in producing theatrically-released action pictures.

The obtain membership, an artist must be supported by two Academy members from the department to which the candidate seeks admission.

There are 17 branches of the Academy.

Oscar nominees are automatically considered for Academy membership and do not require sponsors.

After being nominated or sponsored, candidates are reviewed by branch committees that will make recommendations for membership.

Those recommendations are then evaluated by the Academy’s Board of Governors, ultimately determining who will receive an invitation to become a member.

Membership review occurs annually.

The organization’s website shows specific conditions for each membership class and Academy branch.

Smith’s shocking action comes just one day after references close to the actor endorsed to The Sun that he and his attorneys had planned to write to the Academy to pray his case ahead of his approaching hearing on April 18.

‘Things are hanging in the credit. He will write an official letter to apologize and beg for their forgiveness,’ the source revealed Thursday.

‘He is also expected to maintain a call with show managers in the next 24 hours. April 18 is D-Day, though — he will find out if he still has an Oscar and, quite possibly, a career.’

Sources familiar with the case also claim the fate of his forthcoming projects, including the Apple-funded slave escape drama Freedom, remains in question.

‘Production managers and studio chiefs do not like to be seen choosing a side too early,’ the insider said, commenting that Smith was anticipated to produce for a fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise. However, a start date still needs to be set.

News of the actor’s resignation also followed a Good Morning America discussion with Oscars producer Will Packer that aired Friday morning and described the Academy’s immediate response to the attack.

After the player onto the Oscars stage on Sunday and hit Rock, Academy officers asked Smith to leave the ceremony, Packer said. The producer claimed they believed in physically removing Smith, an option he successfully lobbied against.

Packer said that his co-producer Shayla Cowan told him that Academy officials’ were about to remove Will Smith physically.’

‘I had not been a feature of those discussions, and so I instantly went to the Academy administration that was on site, and I said, “Chris Rock does not like that. Rock has created it clear that he does not want to cause a bad situation worse”,’ said Packer.

Smith was presented with his first Academy Award after the onstage attack.

‘I was advocating what Rock wanted then, not physically removing Will Smith. Because, as it has now been explained to me, that was the only choice,’ he said. ‘There was a conversation I was not a part of to ask him to leave voluntarily.’

However, a source near Rock told TMZ denied that the comedian was never asked about removing Smith from the theater.

‘Chris told Packer, ‘I’m not pressing demands. All I want to do is leave.’ He was never asked if he liked Will removed, and this is the Academy covering itself.’

Packer also said police told Rock they would remove Smith from the audience and arrest him for the battery.

‘We will get him; we are prepared to get him right now,’ the cops said to Rock, Packer recalled. ‘You can press charges, and we can arrest him.’

Packer claimed Rock was dismissive towards police, but he encouraged the comic to hear them before making a decision.

‘They were laying out the options, and as they talked, Chris was dismissive of them. He was like, “No, I’m fine.” He said, “No, no, no,” ‘the producer said.

Ultimately, Rock declined to demand charges. However, police said in a proclamation Sunday, ‘if the tricky party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be open to complete an investigative report.’

As evidenced by her unamused expression, Pinkett Smith did not appreciate the joke.

Smith marched onto the Oscars stage on Sunday and hit Rock after the comedian told a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock’s joke was targeted at Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, a style she has embraced in the wake of her alopecia diagnosis.

‘Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,’ Rock said to Pinkett Smith, whose close-shaven head looked similar to Demi Moore’s in the 1997 movie, during his representation of the award for best documentary.

Whether Rock was aware that Pinkett Smith suffered from a hair-loss condition is unknown, but Smith reacted with the smack and an angry warning ‘to keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!’

Shortly after, Smith was announced as the best actor award winner and went up to collect his figure to a standing ovation from numerous peers.

In his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the Academy – whose members vote for the awards and who stages the ceremony – but stopped short of apologizing to Rock.

Smith initially laughed off the attack, writing on Instagram on Sunday evening: ‘You can’t invite people from Philly or Baltimore nowhere!!’

Yet as the gravity of the situation became clear, Smith then posted a public apology to Instagram 24 hours after the ceremony, saying he wanted to say sorry formally to Rock. He said his behavior was ‘unacceptable and inexcusable’ and left him’ embarrassed.’

‘I would like to apologize to you publicly, Chris,’ he wrote. ‘I was out of line, and I was wrong. I am sorry, and my actions do not indicate the man I want to be. There is no place for brutality in a world of love and kindness.’

Rock, seen on Thursday, has been performing to sold-out crowds in Boston but has not spoken at length about the incident.

Rock, who held humor shows in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday, has refused to discuss the ‘Slap Heard Round the World.’

After being met with ‘Will Smith’ chants from the audience, the comedian briefly addressed the slap during the show, recording that he still needs time to ‘process’ the assault.

He also told the group: ‘I haven’t talked to anyone, despite what you heard,’ referencing rumors that Rock and Smith had made amends.

But come Thursday night; Rock had to stop his fans from cursing out Smith.
Will Smith!’ a fan shouted, likely in an attempt to show support for Rock.

‘No, no, no, no, no…’ the comedian replied, according to People, putting an end to the verbal attacks.

The comic, 57, took to the stage at the Wilbur Theatre on Wednesday and asked: ‘How was your weekend?’

The rhetorical question got a big laugh from the crowd, which occasionally heckled the Emmy-winning comedian about Will Smith’s on-screen strike. But Rock warned those at the sold-out venue that the show would go on as planned.

‘I don’t have like a bunch to say about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I had like a whole show I wrote before… this weekend…’ he said to more laughs. ‘And I’m still kind of processing what happened.

‘So at some time I’ll talk about that s… and it’ll be serious. It’ll be funny,’ he said before an audience member shouted, ‘F Will!’

‘I’m gonna tell some jokes,’ Rock ended, later revealing that he hasn’t spoken to ‘anyone’ since the incident, alluding to reports that he and Smith have reconciled.

But some of the 3,000 lovers in the audience – who paid up to $1,000 per token – are disappointed that the stand-up jokester avoided the topic on everyone’s mind.

Chris Rock posed with fan Gerard Cole at the AMC Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts, just days after being slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars.

Despite the chatter covering the Oscars incident, Rock has seemingly maintained a sense of normalcy.

The comic showed up solo at the AMC Boston Common film theatre in Massachusetts on Thursday, TMZ reported.

Rock strolled into the theatre, got some popcorn, a hotdog, and water, and then led off to see a flick – though it is unknown which one.

But not before fan Gerard Cole controlled Rock and invited him to pose for a photo, which the comic happily obliged while hovering an armload of movie snacks.

Smith has yet to be caught on a public outing.

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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