In wake of his on-stage Oscar slap to Chris Rock, Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
According to Deadline, Smith was facing the possibility of being expelled for a decade or more. Smith, a member of the AMPAS since 2001, resigned ahead of their decision in hopes to defuse the situation.
Smith released a statement to Deadline:
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.
Sources state that while Smith’s expulsion was an option, the Academy never considered taking his Oscar away.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” AMPAS president David Rubin said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”