Will Smith Resigns from Academy, Issues Apology for Chris Rock Controversy

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Will Smith is officially resigning from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences following the controversial incident at the Oscars where he slapped comedian Chris Rock. The Suicide Squad actor has issued a statement apologizing to the Academy and that he "will accept any further consequences" of his actions.

During the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith had stormed onstage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. In the fallout from the debacle, Rock decided not to press battery charges against Smith, who would later apologize on Instagram. Since then, the Academy had issued a statement saying they condemned the violence at the show and that an investigation into the matter has been initiated.

Smith has now issued a statement announcing his resignation from the Academy (via Variety). The King Richard star also apologized to Rock for his actions. His full statement reads as follows:

"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. 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.

"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. 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. 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. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason," Smith said.

People have been calling for Will Smith to be removed from the Academy immediately after the incident and it is believed that the backlash was what led the Academy to take action. Stay tuned for more updates on this story.

Will Smith won the Best Actor award at the Academy Awards just a few minutes after he slapped Chris Rock. Smith received a standing ovation for his emotional speech.

Related: Chris Rock Breaks Silence on Suicide Squad Star Will Smith's Oscars Meltdown


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