In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Smith said he was heartbroken and would accept all consequences for his 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,” Smith said in the statement. “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.”
Earlier this week, the Academy began disciplinary action against Smith after a meeting of its board of governors, and issued a statement saying Smith was asked to leave the show following the slap but that he refused. The statement didn’t provide details, but also acknowledged that the Academy “could have handled the situation differently.”
Rock was presenting best documentary feature at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday when he made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head (the actress has alopecia). Smith later went on to win the best actor award for his performance in King Richard.
Smith’s resignation means he can no longer vote for the Oscars — but he can still be nominated for future Academy Awards, attend future ceremonies and keep the statue he won. But the Academy’s formal review will continue.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” the Academy said in a statement. “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.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.