David Rubin, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given a statement after actor Will Smith‘s resignation. He also addressed the ongoing controversy that took the entertainment world by a storm last Sunday–the Oscars slapgate. Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. (Also read: Academy ‘seriously discussed’ asking Will to leave after he hit Chris: report)
Speaking to People magazine, David said, “We have received and accepted Mr Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. However, the resignation may not put a plug on the controversy just yet. He added, “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.”
It is speculated that Will might lose the Best Actor award that he received for his performance in King Richard. He could also face legal action for assaulting Chris on a public platform.
Will slapped Chris after the latter cracked a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Jada suffers from a condition called alopecia which causes hair loss. After the Best Actor win, Will apologised to the Academy but not to Chris. It was only a day later in an Instagram post that he said he was ‘embarrassed’ for what he did and apologised to Chris as well.
In a new statement on Friday, he mentioned that he was resigning from the Academy. “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 actor said in a statement.
He added, “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.”
The actor further said, “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 concluded, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”