4 Apr – Not long after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) Board of Governors announced that it will be initiating a disciplinary proceeding against Will Smith, the actor announced that he is leaving the organisation voluntarily.
In a statement released to the media, the actor, who sparked backlash after slapping Chris Rock during the event last week for the latter's joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett, expressed, "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," he added.
At the same time, Smith, who also won Best Actor at the event for his performance in "King Richard", stated that he is committed to make a change and ensure that he will never again allow violence to overtake reason.
In response to his withdrawal, AMPAS president David Rubin stated, "We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith's immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 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."
Smith is known to have been a member of AMPAS since 2001.