Will Smith Resigns from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: ‘I Betrayed the Trust’

Hollywood actor Will Smith has resigned in disgrace from the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Smith made headlines around the world when he slapped host Chris Rock across the face on live TV during the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinket Smith.

In a statement, the actor said he’s “betrayed the trust of the Academy.”

“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.

“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,” he continued.

“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,” he said.

Will Packer, the producer of the Oscars, told ABC News’s Good Morning America that Smith almost got arrested.

He said the Los Angeles Police Department came to his office on Sunday and spoke to Chris Rock about filing charges against Smith over the incident.

Packer said: “They were saying, ‘This is battery.’

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“That was the word they used in that moment.

“They said, ‘We will go get him. We are prepared. We will go get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him.’

“They were laying out the options.

“And as they were talking, Chris was, he was being very dismissive of those options.

“He was like, ‘No, I’m fine. He was like no, no, no.’

“And even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish.’

“The LAPD officers finish laying out what his options were.

“And they said, ‘Would you like us to take any action?’

“And he said ‘no’.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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