Days after he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars stage, popular Hollywood actor Will Smith has on Friday - April 1 made an announcement that he is resigning from the Academy and asserted that he will accept further consequences from the board for his action. While his announcement may appear shocking to millions across and beyond the borders, the reports in the know affirm that the actor was on the verge of possible suspension from the Academy following his clampdown with Chris Rock.
Last Sunday, Los Angeles was hosting the prestigious Oscar Award ceremony and in the midst of the event, Will Smith had apparently slapped Chris Rock, who was presenting the event on the stage, after the latter has landed a jibed remark on Smith's wife Jada Pinkett-Smith over her shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia. Rock's insulting remark under the guise of a joke and Smith's slap had become the talk of the globe as the incident has become more prominent than Will Smith winning the first Oscar in his career.
Will Smith has won the award for the Best Actor in the movie 'King Richard' and while he went emotional on the stage, he also had apologized to the Academy. Later, he also has released a public apology in which he said that his action was unacceptable and inexcusable and rendered his apology to the comedian. However, the matter didn't subdue there as the Academy has on Wednesday announced that it had initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith.
While Chris Rock has also faced a wave of flak for his jibing remark, the board's move against Will Smith had drawn global attention. Earlier, a governing member of the Academy has said that though Smith's Oscar award won't be withdrawn, he will be facing consequences as per the Academy's Standards of Conduct. The organization said that disciplinary actions against the actor by the Academy include suspension or expulsion along with other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.
What Will Smith had to say in his resignation note?
As the Academy has launched the probe into his slapping, Will Smith has on Friday tendered his resignation from the membership of the Academy, nearly a week after the incident took place. In his statement, Will Smith said, "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."
He further said, "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", Will Smith added. His statement of resignation from the Academy has been going viral on social media. However, his relinquishment from the membership didn't end the story.
What he will lose after giving up the membership?
Though Will Smith had voluntarily resigned from the membership ahead of facing suspension or expulsion, the Academy has said that it will continue its disciplinary proceedings against the actor and it has reported that Will Smith may be banned from appearing at the Academy Award ceremonies in the future. However, the ban would less likely last for long.
Most importantly, the unanticipated play of giving up the membership would cost Will Smith a huge recognition as he will be losing his right to vote. Will Smith can no longer be able to vote on Oscar-nominated movies and performances each year. However, his work will still be eligible for future Oscars consideration and nominations. He had become the first actor in recent times to relinquish the Oscar membership.
It also must be noted that the board of the iconic Oscar has only expelled a few people before and they include Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Roman Polanski. However, it is yet to be known whether Will Smith will join the club. Smith's resignation was accepted by the Academy. David Rubin, the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said on Friday that the organization has received and accepted Smith's 'immediate resignation'.
Rubin said, "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." On the other hand, Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett-Smith had broken her silence on Wednesday and said, "This is a reason for healing and I'm here for it." Meanwhile, comedian Chris Rock had addressed the episode during a stand-up show in Boston on Wednesday and commented about the incident at the Oscars and said he was still kind of processing what happened.