Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rather than face expulsion or punishment for assaulting Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.
The action comes as the actor faces the most serious crisis of his career, and as the Academy Awards organization struggles to deal with the consequences from the brawl.
Smith called his actions “shocking, hurtful, and unacceptable” in a statement, adding that he will accept any extra punishments deemed necessary 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.”
“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,” he stated, concluding with “change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
During the ceremony, Smith charged the stage and struck Rock during the broadcast after Rock made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, likening her shaved head to the buzzcut sported by Demi Moore in “G.I. Jane.” Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss due to alopecia.
Will did post an apology, but he made sure to turn off the comments: