In a rather shocking turn of events, Oscar-winner Will Smith has officially resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in the wake of his on-stage assault of Chris Rock during last Sunday's 94th Oscars.
Smith, in a first statement reported by Variety, called his actions during the ceremony 'shocking, painful and inexcusable,' adding that he would accept any additional consequences issued by the Academy's Board of Governors.
“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.”
The actor also acknowledged that the slap controversy during the ceremony caused other award winners to be overshadowed.
“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,” Smith, 53, said.
He further shared how - 'change takes time' and he is now “committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
However, the academy has surprisingly accepted Smith's 'immediate resignation' and will 'continue to move forward with its disciplinary proceedings against him for violations of the group's standards of conduct. Smith's resignation came two days after the organization met to initiate the disciplinary hearings.
Smith's shocking move comes just one day after sources close to the actor confirmed to The Sun that he and his lawyers had planned to write to the Academy to plead his case ahead of his upcoming hearing on April 18.
Oscars came to a brief standstill on March 27 when the presenter took a swipe at Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, joking, "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, alright?"
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