Actor Will Smith has put out a statement announcing that he is resigning from the Motion Picture Academy. This move was following the recent incident that took place at the Oscars. Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock as he joked about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s medical condition. The actor was condemned by members of the fraternity as well as the producers of the Oscars.
In his statement, he wrote that he is ‘heartbroken’ and that he takes all the responsibility for what happened. He also said that his actions actually spoilt the atmosphere of the Academy Awards, which are celebratory in nature.
“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. “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason,” his statement read.
The Academy Awards has accepted Will Smith’s decision.
"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,” said David Rubin, according to a report in Hindustan Times.
After the incident, there are reports of the Academy asking the actor to leave the hall, however, he continued to sit. There are also reports of the Police wanting to arrest Will Smith at the awards itself and were stopped by Rock.
As a consequence, Will Smith has lost his privileges of voting due to his resignation as well as other benefits which are given to its members. The Oscars is an invitation-only and with a once-a-year membership review.
In the past, celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and the actor Carmine Caridi have been expelled from the awards.